20 11, 2015

Welcome Cheeta!

After a long wait, last night Cheeta, our new guest, has arrived at Fundación MONA.
Last Monday, Didi Crailsheim, one of our head keepers, traveled to Oasis Park in Fuerteventura, to meet her and discover what she likes and fears. The day after, MONA’s director Olga Feliu and our vet Josep Badia joined them in order to make Cheeta’s transition easier. In this way, once in our facilities at Riudellots de la Selva (Girona), she would have someone she already knows and trusts.

Thursday morning, Cheeta flew directly to Madrid and later we drove her to Riudellots in a van. The trip went well, with no surprises. In these first days, we are lucky to have here Vicente, one of her favorite keepers, so that the change won’t be too traumatic for her. They have been friends since the whole life, for he was who raised her when she was confiscated and moved to the Oasis Park and they had a special relationship for more than 28 years.

When Cheeta entered what would be her new indoor facility, there was no delay or second thoughts and she just passed smoothly from her transportation cage over to her new home. This morning, Cheeta happily greeted the keepers who one after another went to meet her. She was really calm and as soon as the sun started shining, we gave her access to socialization cages. She went out very quickly and again very calm and vocalizing happiness. The other chimpanzees at MONA heard her from a distance and responded to her vocalizations, which means that they now know there’s a “new girl” in the house.
When she went out for the first time a group of journalists was already waiting for her, to witness and record this special moment. After exploring her new home, Cheeta chose one of […]

18 11, 2015

Before the week is over, Cheeta will be here!

After months of veterinary counselling, Cheeta has been thoroughly tested and checked by cardiologists and thorax specialists to make sure she is in good health and in conditions to travel. That being demonstrated, on Thursday, November 19th, the transfer of Cheeta, from Oasis Park Fuerteventura to the facilities of the MONA Foundation in Girona, will take place.

She is a 30 year old female chimpanzee. In the 80’s she was illegally acquired together with a male chimpanzee by their previous owner, who exploited them, still being infants, to take pictures with people in touristic areas on another island.

The authorities confiscated the two chimpanzees from that individual, due to the illegal possession of highly endangered species, such as in this case potentially dangerous, extremely social and intelligent chimpanzees. In continuation they were left in the voluntarily offered care and maintenance of the Oasis Park zoo for the next 28 years, due to their experience and ongoing work as the only rescue and rehabilitation centre of that island.

In July there was an unfortunate escape and two of the three chimpanzees, being housed at the park´s facility had to be sacrificed for security reasons, which left the only survivor Cheeta alone.

After careful evaluation the Administration of the park decided that living on her own is not adequate for a chimpanzee, being a highly social animal. Striving to find the best solution for her, they contacted several rescue centres taking care of chimpanzees, in order to help her find a new family instead of living the rest of her life* alone. (* The life expectancy of chimpanzees can exceed the 60 years).

After discarding other options they opted to contact us. Resuming the communication from when we contacted them offering our help and offering the possibility of Cheeta´s integration in one of our chimpanzee groups, once […]