Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rescue, rehabilitation and liberation.

This posting is not about monkeys but is about people who also care for monkeys. Canaote is proud to be partners with ARFA, the Association for the Rescue of Animals. The people mentioned in this posting are the President,Lucy Alio, and members of that association. You will remember that Gabriela was responsible for the rescue of Pancho, our resident Capuchin Monkey.

Rescue, rehabilitation and liberation
of the King, The Cunaguaro.(small lion, native to South America)

By Gabriela Olivieri.

Last March, I received a phone call from a friend of my family, informing me that a friend of his had told him that she had a cunaguaro in their house and she wanted to set it free.
I telephoned my friend at once to see if I could help. We made an appointment to see what condition the animal was in.
I went to the following day to see it, and I found it in poor health, it was very thin, with external and internal parasites and with strong diarrhea.
They had him tied up with a chain in the back patio of the house.
When I saw the diarrhea, we took a sample and I sent it to the laboratory, where they confirmed my suspicions, that he had a great parasitosis and a lot of fat in the feces, due to poor feeding.
On the following day we began treatment with anti parasite medications for the diarrhea, after previously consulting with a veterinarian.
That day I talked with my friend Lucy AliĆ², president of the Center of Rescue of Fauna, (ARFA) here in the State Cojedes, where I also live, to decide how we could help this feline
We place the information on the internet, in a animal help net, and we receive many letters offering to rehabilitate the cunaguaro, but the problem was that they were located in other states of Venezuela, very far from ours, and the transfer would be long and one ran the risk that he would be confiscated by the authorities on the highway.
We then decided to take it to the ARFA Rescue Center. Although not in operation at this moment, it had all the necessary facilities for the rehabilitation.
I put him in a travel box, at that moment he was meek, because he was very dehydrated, caused by the diarrhea, and transferred him to the rescue center, where he was placed in the quarantine area, so that he could receive care and veterinary treatment, and to be examined for any other illness, since, when an animal is liberated, he has to be completely healthy, so that he doesn't spread sickness to the wild cunaguaro.
He was given vitamins, anti parasite medicine and a balanced diet of meats and raw chicken.
After two weeks I went to visit him again and the improvement in the animal was impressive, He had put on a lot of weight, they were no longer bones sticking out of his backbone, his coat had improved very much, he was clean and brilliant, and his eyes had the shine of a healthy animal, and the best thing of all it was that his wild character came to the fore again, he growled at me and it tried to attack me, which is the normal behavior for this wild animal.
That day he was transferred into a big cage 12 meters long, where he could exercise, and jump and develop muscular mass in the paws.
On the 5th of May 2008, Mrs. Lucy Alio and I decided that the animal was ready to be liberated, because it was already showing neurotic behavior, by being caged, walking unceasingly from a side to another, we decided on a date, Saturday May 17 2008 for the release.
At ten in the morning, we put him again in a carrying box, covered with a lining, to avoid stress and so that he didn't see the road for where we were taking him.
We drove by tractor to a remote area of the property, where there is no livestock, but where there was a lot of wild fauna on which the cunaguaro could feed.
A shady place was chosen, with a small lagoon, and we made him a cave, opening a hole in the earth and placing enough tree branches at the entrance and we left him a good supply of raw meat, inside of and outside of the cave.
Then we place the box in front of the cave and we opened the door, he came out very slowly, looking in every direction and smelt the atmosphere that surrounded him, and then walked around, passing beside us and following the path his to his place in freedom.
I left at that moment to let him begin his new life in wild state, from which he should never have been taken.
I am very happy of having contributed in returning of this King Cunaguaro, to his natural environment where he belongs.

Gabriela of Olivieri.

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