If you remember in the latest issue of our magazine we told you about Sara and Nico’s rescue and their adaption to the center.
Sara quickly joined Romie’s group (although she displayed some rocking behavior quite a bit). While, Nico showed from the start that he is extremely dependant on humans.
From the start, and only a few days after arriving, he started to bite his left wrist in order to get attention from the volonteers and keepers at Mona. Since we did not want him to hurt himself anymore we decided to take shifts watching him, this had to be carried out during several months.
Since none of the staff at Mona had experienced this type of situation before, we asked the help of vets, other centers and any individual or center that had had to deal with something similar. There’s no easy remedy to Nico’s behavior, there have not been many successful cases of cured chimpanzee automutilation.
Finally, it was decided that first we would need to heal Nico’s wounds and then introduce with with care to some of the members of Romie’s group. This decision meant that the volunteers and staff members would have double their efforts, a great part of the daily job was now to take turns watching Nico. ‘We are extremely thankful for all the work Mona workers and volunteers have carried out’, declared Olga Feliu.
We tried to get him not to hurt himself anymore but our efforts were not successful, we had to anesthesize Nico several times in order to suture his wounds. The situation worsened when Nico proceeded to bite his pinky finger on his left hand and seriously hurt his articulation between his second and third phalange. After completing a biopsy of the auxilary nodes and the affected articulation, vets declared that unfortunately the only thing that could be done was amputating his pinky finger.
Now Nico’s wounds are almost completely healed and we are beginning re-introduction with Juanito, Sara, Bongo, and Romie. In the next issues of our magazine we hope to be able to give you some good news!