The Primate Handshake Team Taking in the Sights of the Forest.

The Primate Handshake Team Taking in the Sights of the Forest.

By Micheal Jordan

Life in Cameroon is ever changing, there is a vibrant feeling in the air that fills you with energy.  As I write this I have Diego the cat sat on my lap purring away, while rain is starting to come down and distant rolls of thunder draw ever closer. There’ll be a big storm tonight.

It’s hard to try and give you a feeling of what it is like here in Mefou. We sleep in a set of dorm rooms sandwiched between rainforest with a baby chimp enclosure on one side and an adolescent gorilla enclosure behind us that holds Nkan Daniel’s group.

A tree has just fallen on the baby chimp enclosure, hopefully there won’t be any little escapees today!

Within a few days the forest started to feel like home., already it seems like we have been here for months. After our orientation with the primate handshake crew, we had a tour with one of the local guides who showed us around the Mefou sanctuary.  Walking about the place you start to realise just how big the sanctuary is and what a challenge it must be to look after all of the sanctuaries various inhabitants.

Daily life is a mixture of filming and editing for different videos the sanctuary would like us to make for them.  On Tuesday, I spent the day perched on a water tower to get some shots of the gorillas for a video update on Shufai and how Gorillas are disappearing in the wild here in Cameroon.

It’s enthralling to see the passion that many of the staff here show for the work they are doing. You can see it in their eyes when they are being interviewed.

I’ve also had the chance to film one of the most engaging things that I’ve probably ever seen.  A Mandrill was brought in to have some teeth removed as they were causing him considerable pain and he was starting to lose weight. Due to the limited facilities available here, the vet had to use a power drill and a scraper rather than a dentistry drill. It was certainly tough to watch, but already he seems to be up and about, feeling much better for having them removed.

Anyway, It’s almost time for tea here. Chips and sauce tonight, I suppose some things don’t change…

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