Deep in the small area of jungle in Nigeria

Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
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77
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Trip End Dec 16, 2012


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Flag of Nigeria  , Cross River,
Friday, February 10, 2012

Deep in the small area of the little remaining jungle of Nigeria is a little ranch. Within that ranch is a bunch of volunteers and countless bananas. Take a deeper look into the ranch and you will find four enclosures. In a nearby enclosure lives a group of enthusiastic chimpanzees. Not far from the chimps are three more enclosures full of monkeys. These monkeys are the reason why the volunteers and bananas are there. These monkeys are Drill Monkeys and the volunteers and the bananas are here to save the Drills.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria, we drove. Onto the ranch road we were met with overgrown jungle flicking into our truck. We were met by ants, grasshoppers, praying mantis' and flying ants. The road was rough, the jungle was lust and the ranch was in sight.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria we arrived at the drill ranch. We camped in the lush jungle and were excited about the next day. Overnight we heard the howls of the monkeys.

Morning came and we trudged up the ranch road where the volunteers and staff were preparing a breakfast of bananas and paw paws for the monkeys. We were eagerly lead to the enclosure, the enclosure deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria that housed chimpanezes that were rescued from pochers and bush meat hunters.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria we observed the feeding of chimpanezes. These chimps had personality. So much personality that there was one dominant male, another chimp only came out when the dominant male wasn't around. So when he came out, he showed his personality by throwing small logs and stones at us. It was hiliarious.

Out of the enclosure and down another walkway, we came to a Drill Monkey enclosure. What are Drill Monkeys you may ask? Well, we had never seen Drill Monkeys before but soon learned to love them. These beautiful coloured primates with distinctively bright coloured bottoms (the higher the testosterone, the brighter the colour) and woody thick faces were simply fascinating. With only around 4000 Drill Monkeys left in the world, the volunteers and bananas were here to save the Drills.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria is a Drill Monkey Ranch. This ranch costs $150,000 per year to run. This same ranch houses 10 percent of the world's Drill Monkey population. Drill Monkeys are only found in Nigeria and Cameroon and at this ranch, 18 Drill babies were born last July. This ranch is funded mainly by donations and relies on a small amount of staff and volunteers, who are here to save the Drills.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria is a Drill Monkey Ranch, where in one enclosure about 160 Drill Monkeys are being weened off the feeding program and trained to find food as if they were in the wild, all for a good cause. Later this month, these Drill Monkeys will be released into the wild, and tracked to ensure they survive. This ranch exists to save the Drill Monkeys who are endangered.

Watching these Drill Monkeys in their enclosure, we admired the simplicity of their daily lives. We were intrigued by their behaviours, as they were with us. One intrigued male Drill Monkey was so intrigued with us, that as Karen got up to leave, he masterbated in front of us. It was hiliarious. What a typical male!

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria, is a Drill Monkey Ranch where we could have spent all day dumbfounded by the mysterious Drill Monkeys. These social monkeys could have kept us entertained for hours, but we needed to mix things up. So we walked deeper into the jungle, and balanced along the canopy line, then chilled out in a pristine waterhole.

Deep in the small area of the remaining jungle of Nigeria, is a Drill Monkey Ranch where people are working hard for these interesting Monkeys. Visiting the this ranch was by far the best experience we had in Nigeria. This is a place we would love to revisit in the future, so we too could work hard and along with bananas, aim to save the Drills.
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