Adopting an animal is a fantastic way to support the work at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary.
In March 2020 our team received a call about an adult baboon that was roaming around a marketplace in the capital city Lilongwe. After safely trapping Mwayi and bringing her back to the Centre we discovered that she was very malnourished. She was also clearly very humanised – both signs that she had been kept as a pet for a long period of time, possibly her entire life.
Luckily, we were able to find her a quarantine companion as later that week we also took in another baboon, Listen, of a similar age who was rescued after being kept illegally as a pet. As neither baboon had spent much time around other baboons before, putting them together helped them to learn natural behaviours in a safe, quiet environment. This will help enormously when Mwayi and Listen are eventually integrated into a larger troop.
When monkeys and baboons are kept as pets for a long period of time it is very difficult to release them back into the wild as they often lack the skills to survive. As they are very used to people they can also try to seek out human contact which can cause conflict – and worse – with local communities. Although our team works hard to give every animal the best possible chance at life back in the wild, sadly this is not always possible.
We will continue to monitor Mwayi’s progress but she may end up living out her days in the safety and comfort of the Wildlife Centre, alongside our other permanent residents. One other possibility is that she may end up being a foster mum to orphaned baby baboons, helping to teach them vital skills in preparation for their new lives. After leaving quarantine Mwayi also ended up befriending another baboon who was in real need of support – little Pretzel, a young baboon that is suffering from severe growth defects as a result of poor diet during her time in captivity (see video below of Mwayi grooming Pretzel).
To give Mwayi a £25 sponsorship for one year, please fill out the form at the base of the page. Thank you for helping us give Mwayi the second chance she deserves!