A sanctuary for Colobus
Colobus is one of the major subfamilies of Old World monkeys, as they are more commonly called. They are monkeys of rare beauty, with several species that have different collors, as white and black, and even red. They are arboreal apes that rarely get down to the ground; they eat leaves, green fruits and seeds. Their stomachs have powerful enzymes which are able to digest the cellulose from the eaten leaves. They are also known as the eating-leaves monkeys.
The various species of this subfamily range from Ethiopia, North Africa, to Angola, in the south, where the Angolese Colobus are much endangered.
At the beginning of “Velho Jatobá” Conservationist Centre, which later became GAP Great Ape Sanctuary of Sorocaba, there was a Colobus among its residents. For a primate, he had an impressive beauty, with his long hair in the back that moved when the wind blew while he jumped from one point to another in the enclosure. Our Colobus was a Colobus guereza, a species that inhabits the center of the African continent. He died, like all primates in captivity, prematurely, due to a banal infection of human origin that we were unable to predict and treat, as it usually happens.
All species of African Colobus are threatened to extinction. In 1997, in Kenya, a sanctuary emerged to try to reduce the deaths of Colobus in Diani area. This sanctuary was evolving, growing and improving to meet all the requirements to be recognized by PASA – Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance - as its member number 22.Colobus Conservation Ltd. mission is to protect particular species of Colobus who live in southern Kenya and Angola. On the day of the announcement of its integration to PASA, Julie Sherman, executive director of PASA, said: "PASA is extremely proud to welcome Colobus Conservation into our family”. She added: "Colobus Conservation’s work on mitigating human-wildlife conflicts in urban areas – including rescuing and returning monkeys to the wild – will build knowledge that will help all PASA sanctuaries address these important issues.”
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International