Chimpanzee's Health Checkup
Type of course: In person Field course to realise in Uganda.
Requirements: 4º or 5º course of Veterinary.
Place: Ngamba Island Rescue Center and Sanctuary.
Language: Spanish and English
Academic Leadership: Entebbe Zoo Veterinary Staff, Uganda.
Coordinator: Dr. Lara Carrasco Pesquera, Bio+ coordinator.
Duration: 7 days on the island of Ngamba. Optional 3 days in Murchinson National Park (in this option, Lara will not participate).
Start date: 30 July 2018.
End date: 5 or 8 August 2018.
Amount: 1300€ (1700€ with option to Murchinson National Park; no flights, visas or travel insurance in both cases). Included in the payment, $100 of each participant will be earmarked for veterinary clinical material.
Optional: Volunteering at a wildlife and chimpanzee rescue centre.
Only four seats available!
Uganda is really an interesting country for many reasons; it has an impressive diversity in a very small space with a wide range of protected natural spaces in a good network of national parks and with a great variety of wildlife, animal and plant life.
Regarding primates, Uganda is the best place in the world to see gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, with up to a total of 24 taxa.
The Ugandan chimpanzee population is currently estimated at around 5,000 individuals, which remains stable with some upward trend, but is highly threatened by the country's enormous human population pressure.
Chimpanzees are hardly eaten in Uganda as bushmeat, and the pressure from poachers on natural populations for the illegal pet trade has dropped a lot, but even so, there are still a certain number of chimpanzees that are confiscated every year at border posts in Uganda or other neighbouring countries, such as Kenya or Congo.
All these confiscated animals will end up in a chimpanzee sanctuary, where, in the vast majority of cases, they will not be able to be released and therefore each individual will have to be cared for until the end of their days.
One of these sanctuaries is located on a small island in Lake Victoria and near Entebbe and Kampala, the island of Ngamba, in the Kome archipelago.
The island of Ngamba is the only island that preserves practically intact the natural vegetation of that area: a splendid tropical forest.
With an area of some 40 hectares covered almost entirely by original forest, Ngamba Island does not have the ecological capacity to maintain all the chimpanzees it hosts, but it is an excellent place to give a second chance to chimpanzees who have been victims of illegal trafficking in species.
Once a year, veterinarians from the Entebbe Zoo perform a medical check-up on each individual; we will collaborate and support this activity again this next 2019.
General objectives of a Checkup:
We will spend a week in the Chimpanzee Sanctuary of Ngamba Island, where we will see how they work for the rehabilitation of these animals.
July 30 to September 3: Medical checkup of the chimpanzees in the sanctuary facilities.
Each day we will review the methodology, the protocol and the reasons why each part of the check is done by our coordinator Dr. Lara Carrasco Pesquera.
August 4th and 5th: The last two days of the week we will get to know first hand the conservation, education and sustainable development projects that they manage and implement from the sanctuary. At the end of day 5 we will return to Entebbe. Farewell to Lara.
6 to 8 August: Visit to Murchinson National Park, where we can see much of the typical savannah fauna of Africa. At the end we return to Entebbe. This excursion is carried out with a local tourist company of complete confidence with which we have experience of other years. Lara will not participate in this excursion.
Dates need to be updated!
Lara Carrasco Pesquera
Lara has a degree in veterinary medicine from the Complutense University of Madrid and a doctorate in primate ethology and conservation from the University of Barcelona, with an official master's degree in primatology from the same university. Lara is a member of the Special Centre for Primate Research (CERP). During this academic year, Lara will be the academic director and main lecturer.
Lara has worked with gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates in different national centres such as Rainfer, Fundación Mona and Barcelona Zoo.
Currently, Lara is a professor at the Alfonso X El Sabio University, in Madrid, where she teaches as a Veterinarian and coordinates a research project on primates, carried out at the Zoo in Madrid with the collaboration of that University.
In addition, for the last 4 years, she has been carrying out studies and collaborations with GREFA, an autochthonous fauna hospital in Majadahonda (Madrid), participating in different conservation projects of this entity.
During her doctoral thesis, Lara participated in ecology and conservation projects of howler monkeys in Mexico.
Lara has visited chimpanzee sanctuaries such as the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia, the Cabárceno Nature Park (Cantabria) and the Zoo-Aquarium in Madrid.
The results of her research have been published in specialist journals and she frequently gives lectures on ethology, enrichment and animal welfare at congresses, courses and seminars.
Their most recent research activity is materialised through research projects on primates, carried out thanks to the collaboration of the Zoo of Madrid with the University of Alfonso X El Sabio.