Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DAK Theme Spotlight: The Colobus Monkey exhibit

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is a terrific zoological exhibit with some very popular animals like gorillas, meerkats, zebra and okapi. And these are naturalistic exhibits meant to showcase the animal in a replica of its natural home. So, you may wonder, what is the deal with the very first exhibit with a family of monkeys behind wire mesh?

Sure, it seems somewhat unnatural but that is the point. You see wildlife biologists and students are using the Pangani forest for study, and you will see signs of this throughout the trail. Dr. Kulunda is the director of the Pangani Forest Conservation School and he has set up this rehabilitation center for this troop of black and white colobus monkeys.

These monkeys are being rehabilitated. Perhaps their forest home was destroyed and they are being relocated here. Perhaps they were found injured. There are many reasons for animals to spend time in a center such as this.

Regardless of the reason, the goal here is to eventually reintroduce this group into the wilds of the Pangani forest. Looking around the exhibit, you will see signs of the students' notes and supplies at this center.

The team is documenting the activities of the monkeys to ensure their safe return to their homes. So while this exhibit might not seem as naturalistic as the rest of the trail, there is a definite story being told.

This is something that is done in the "real" world at various conservation centers including some of our very own conservation partners like the Ara Project and the Cheetah Conservation Center. So this exhibit is giving you a little look into the reality of projects going on around the world.

By Safari Mike


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