2011, May 20
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Yes, dear Friends, as most of you know already, a few weeks ago we had a vet flying over from South Africa, Dr Bruce PECK, to sedate all the chimps and to do some health checks. J.A.C.K. has become a member of the PASA family and it was suggested all the chimpanzees residing at our sanctuary would be checked from top to toe.

PASA veterinary consultant Bruce PECK helped with chimp health checks
PASA veterinary consultant Bruce PECK helped with chimp health checks

This was for the J.A.C.K. team of course a huge event and each of us was very excited to meet Bruce and to help him work on the chimps. Our volunteer vet, Dr. Jean Claude BINEMO,  and his assistant, Dr. Francis, participated as it was also a training session to them.

Vets Bruce, Jean Claude & Francis
Vets Bruce, Jean Claude & Francis

When  Bruce arrived, we had only two days to sedate 37 chimps! Franck and I thought it would be too short. But the first day and  in less than 8 hours  Bruce sedated the main group (23 chimps). The next day it was the nursery group (14 infants) which was checked in about 4 hours...

3 vets working on sedated Coco
3 vets working on sedated Coco

 These checks were a real marathon and looked more like people of a factory doing some assembly-line work: each of us was a link of the chain and we had to carry out what we had been asked for:

- Vet Jean Claude darted the chimps

Jean Claude darting the chimps
Jean Claude darting chimp

- caregivers Augustin and Christian weighed the sedated chimp,

caretakers Augustin & Christian weighing chimp
Augustin & Christian weighing Coco the chimp

- Vets Bruce & Jean Claude, assistant Francis, volunteer Bruno and myself did the general check up of the chimps,

 ==> blood was taken

getting blood from baby Ekolo
getting blood from baby Ekolo

== >chimps were TB -tested on both eye lids and on their tummy

TB-test in the eyelids
TB-test in the eyelids

==> sick/broken teeth were pulled out

teeth pulled out
upper incisive pulled out

- after being reversed, the chimp was transferred to the recovery room monitored by Franck, Maman Angeline and Papa Ilunga. The big ones woke up in their facilities

older ones recovering
older ones recovering

while Franck kept an eye on the recovery of the very young ones like Ekolo and Nalia.

Nalia recovering in crate
Nalia recovering in crate

As for the first results of these health checks, we can already say that the chimpanzees are all negative to the TB-tests and that a few of them show signs of slight anemia. Vitamines are on the agenda at the moment, so, generally speaking,  the chimps residing at J.A.C.K. are healthy!

Vida & Pundu: too hungry after sedation and recovery...
Vida & Ekolo: too hungry after sedation and recovery...

These health checks have been a very interesting experience and have been beneficial for the chimps staying at our sanctuary.

team working on sedated chimpanzee
team working on sedated chimpanzee

Before I end, J.A.C.K. and its residents really wish to thank  the following people without whom this particular event wouldn't have taken place:

* the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance which sponsored the health checks and sent a vet to J.A.C.K.;

* Dr Bruce PECK who agreed to come to Lubumbashi despite his heavy schedule;

* Vet Jean Claude and his assistant Francis for their participation to the checks;

* J.A.C.K. friend Bruno for his commitment to our Cause

* and the team of J.A.C.K. for its love and wish to help these orphans.

Also, J.A.C.K. wishes to thank a friend with a great heart: Dr  Christelle COLIN who helped the PASA in organising these health checks and who has precious veterinary advice and tips!

Thank You All!!!
Thank You All!!!

R