Adopting a troop is a fantastic way to support the work at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary.
When our team took in a young baboon that had been kept on a chain in a village we were shocked at her condition. Pretzel’s whole body was deformed – she was clearly suffering from horrible growth defects.
After conducting medical tests, we discovered that Pretzel was suffering from rickets, most likely caused by poor diet during her time in captivity. Amazingly, given the ordeal Pretzel had clearly been through, she was a bright and bouncy character from day one.
Given Pretzel’s fragile condition, we started the rehabilitation process slowly. As with of our most rescued primates – given that they are highly social animals – we planned to give Pretzel some baboon company. We knew we had to choose a friend carefully given that her bones were so delicate, and that baboons often like to play rough!
That friend was Mwayi. Also rescued from the illegal pet trade, we weren’t sure how much baboon interaction Mwayi had previously had, but we thought her calm temperament would make her a good fit for Pretzel. Mwayi seemed to agree. One day we noticed the two baboons sitting next to each other and grooming each other through their enclosures. In fact, they seemed so engrossed in each other that we decided to open the gates and let them introduce themselves then and there. It was friendship at first sight!
The two baboons will both likely stay at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre for the rest of their lives. So we created a troop with Pretzel and Mwayi and some other individuals that also missed much of their social development – baboons that would benefit from living in a calmer troop environment.
This troop is mostly made up of young baboons who were rescued from the illegal pet trade. This little gang – which also includes Bones, Gus, Peter, Mia, Edwin, Yeet, Frankie, Aruby, Lock and Ivy – is going from strength to strength, with Mia earning the nickname “Mumma Mia” because she’s always the first to give the younger ones a hug!
To sponsor Pretzel’s troop for £25 for one year, please click donate below. Thank you for helping us give these animals the second chance at life they deserve!