GOLF – THE MOST UNUSUAL OF BLOOD SPORTS
(Posted 05th May 2016)
(Little Shujaa seen here three weeks after his rescue with his surrogate mom at an enclosure of the Colobus Conservation)
Just a few weeks ago, on the Leisure Lodge golf course in Diani, did a German tourist player find out what the mention of obstacles on this course could mean, when he accidentally hit a female vervet monkey who carried a tiny little baby with her.
Struck by the ball in the head did the mother die instantly and the little baby clang on to her lifeless body, until someone with local knowledge then called the Colobus Conservation offices.
As usual did they respond instantly and came to collect the little monkey baby and put it, after a veterinary exam was carried out to establish if the little one had been hit too and perhaps injured, on to a surrogate mother to ensure regular feeding.
Now, a few weeks later and seemingly over the trauma, has the little one grown in leaps and bounds and has been accepted as a member of the clan which occupies one of the enclosures. Named Shujaa by the staff and volunteers at the Colobus Conservation, a Kiswahili word for warrior or fighter, has the little vervet monkey survivor taken to eating solid foods already, clearly weaned off the initially crucial breastfeeding by his surrogate mother and is now a happy bouncy little man who can look forward to eventually being released.
The golfer, notably, donated 10.000 Kenya Shillings to the Colobus Conservation towards the upkeep of the little monkey before it can eventually be released back into the wild.
Indeed has the staff of the Colobus Conservation mentioned that they have plans to release a major group of perhaps 30 vervets into the forests of the nearby Shimba Hills National Park. Fewer, did they say, would find it hard to put up defenses against predators and with leopards prevalent in the Shimba Hills must the group size be a factor to ensure the long term survival in the wild of those freed.
But apart from this initially very sad and then turned into another major success story for the Colobus Conservation, is the NGO continuing with its core mandate, the protection and preservation of the Colobus habitat at this stretch of the coast and caring for injured Colobus or even taking in orphaned Colobus to receive feeding and the necessary care in the tight social structure which the Colobus kept here for various reasons can provide.
More recently, as reported here, was a baby colobus fund seriously injured and needed its arm amputated but has by the look of it recovered from the operation and is very much part of the Colobus clan at Colobus Conservation.
Operations like these, and the upkeep of animals, before their eventual release back into the wild, are costly however. According to the staff do donations come in but nowhere near enough to keep pace with expensive treatment and upkeep and it is the appeal of the volunteers spoken with yesterday and the staff at Colobus Conservation, that readers give consideration to financially, materially or through volunteership help the NGO meet its mandate and fulfill its crucially important function.
Said Luciana Parazzi Basile, Chair of the South Coast Residents Association based near the offices of the Colobus Conservation: ‘Without the efforts of Colobus Conservation, putting rope bridges over the Diani beach road or treating injured Colobus who get caught in power lines, accidents or through attacks by ignorant humans, their numbers would have been decimated a long time ago. Colobus Conservation ensures their long term survival, but not only of Colobus but of other monkey species too‘.
True enough does the NGO also care for other animals and even birds, as the story told here last year goes to prove when a ‘Masked Booby‘ was treated for a broken wing, nurtured back to health and eventually, and reluctantly released as the following story link will show.
The environment at Colobus Conservation in fact is so friendly that wild Vervet monkeys, Sykes monkeys and even baboons frequent the place and make it their playground, another source of pride for the staff and volunteers and of course photo motives for visitors. Those can get a guided tour against a small donation and get first hand knowledge what conservation in action really means to the grass root levels of Kenyan society. learn about the challenges of human wildlife coexistence and potential conflict and the education programmes Colobus Conservation constantly rolls out along Diani’s award winning beaches and adjoining areas.