Strange windstorm kills four chimpanzees in Cross River
Four chimpanzees were crushed to dead at the Drill Ranch, Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary in Buanchor, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, following an extreme windstorm that ravaged the area.
The wildlife sanctuary, meant for drilling of monkeys and chimpanzees, has in the past 10 days been exposed to unusual weather conditions as structures, animals, bridges and roads have been destroyed.
Co-founder and Director of the ranch, Liza Gadsby, who confirmed the incident to The Guardian, said four drills were crushed, including a mother holding her baby, an adult male and female in different enclosures.
“In the second incident no animal was lost, but we lost our road and enclosure.”
Narrating how it happened, Gadsby said; “It was very surprising.It is normal to have such experience at the beginning of rainy season, little storm and it happens every year with one or two trees falled down, but this is a very sudden event. It occurred few days ago at about 6:15pm in the evening and very strange wind started coming straight down to the ground with heavy rain and when it was over we had about 50 trees down within one square kilometre of our project area. Our project infrastructure was affected, our chimpanzee enclosure was down and fortunately it happened just before dark and the animals don’t go anywhere.
“Our staff and members of the community came out to help and we worked until 4pm the next day to rescue the chimpanzees. We lost two staff cabins, our veterinary building, wood store shed and others and it took us eight days to get our animal enclosure erected again. We lost four drills that the trees fell on. Just 10 days later, the same thing happened again and this was just a day before the visit of my Ambassador to the Drill Ranch.
“…We certainly need some assistance from the state government. In 2012 we had a huge landslide on Afi mountain that affected Buanchor, Katabang and the Drill Ranch and we lost so many bridges and roads in this area. We really need some assistance.”