Thursday, November 30, 2006

First Meeting of The Friends of Abidjan Zoo

We are delighted to announce the first meeting of The Friends of Abidjan Zoo, to be held in the "paillote", Abidjan Zoological Gardens, Williamsville, Abidjan, on Sunday 10th December 2006 at 14:00.

In order to be legally recognised as an association in Côte d’Ivoire, we must hold a General Constitutional Assembly (meeting) and do the following:

- Agree on the cost of membership, and the cost of a yearly subscription.
- Agree on the official name of the association
- Agree on the objective of the association
- Discuss the Action Plan, how the association will raise money
- Agree on the length of the president’s mandate, and that of the executive bureau and other officers.
- Elect the Executive Bureau (including a president, a treasurer and a secretary-general).

We will also be voting for one of the following logos to use on official correspondence and merchandise.

Please, if you are based in Abidjan, come along to the meeting, offer your views, your time and/or skills, and your first year’s membership!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fanta - update

Fanta has been at the zoo for over six months now; when she arrived she weighed 3.5 kg, had intestinal amoeba and worms, was depressed, lonely and frightened. Now she weighs over 6 kg, and has made friends with all the zoo staff (and some of the other animals). Every day a volunteer takes Fanta out into a little patch of forest in the zoo grounds where she can play and relax, and have some social contact with someone with whom she feels safe. When she was first taken on one of these outings she quickly identified and started helping herself to some of the plants she remembers from the forest where she was born.

The plants she eats include the shoots and new leaves of Hypselodelphys, she enjoys the fruit of the strangler fig tree by the lions’ cage, she enjoys Pallisota shoots, wild yam leaves and bamboo shoots – sometimes she even refuses banana and papaya, preferring the wild food she finds in the woods.

When these outings became a regular part of her daily routine, Fanta blossomed. She lost her shyness, she started to play, she made more vocalisations, and she grew bolder and more curious about her environment. These outings are wonderful for Fanta, and she enjoys them enormously, however, they cannot continue forever. There will come a time when she is no longer a baby, and her desire for independence from her ‘mother figure’ will be incompatible with her relative freedom around the zoo.

Fanta is currently kept in a bare room in the zoo, which, although it is a decent size, is so devoid of stimuli that she spends most of her time in her cardboard box in a corner. She will, at some point, be obliged to give up the freedom she has, and she will therefore need a cage specifically adapted to her needs, but one which will continue to maintain the high quality of life which she currently enjoys. Please give generously using the link in the top right of this web page, to help us provide her with the living space she needs.