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.


Dot said...

Dear all, I'm so sorry this update has taken so long to appear, I hope to be updating more regularly now.

Elizabeth Kay said...

It's delightful to hear how well Fanta is progressing, thanks to the dedication and imagination of those taking care of her. It was fascinating finding out that she recognised some foodplants from her early life - little snippets of information like this make her come alive for those of us who live far away. I can't wait for the next update!

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Mark Benson said...

To come face to face with adorable Fanta is perfectly a reason to opt for flights to Abidjan and have visit this adventurous zoo and its lovely animals.

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