Primate specialists from Twycross Zoo have been using analysers supplied by Woodley Equipment Company to run health checks on apes and monkeys rescued by Ape Action Africa in Cameroon.
The conservation project, formerly known as the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund, was set up to improve living conditions for primates housed at Mvog-Betsi Zoo in Yaounde, Cameroon, but now takes in orphans of the bushmeat and pet trades – mostly chimpanzees and gorillas.
Based in Mefou National Park just outside Yaounde, the Ape Action Africa sanctuary is now home to over 300 primates, making it ones of the largest projects of its kind in Africa.
Unable to bring blood samples back to the UK, the Twycross team took analysers supplied by Woodley Equipment Company – the Skyla VB1 Clinical Chemistry Analyser and the Haemacue WBC analyser – allowing them to get rapid results and resolve issues as quickly as possible.
Sarah Chapman, head of veterinary services, said: “We used the biochemistry machine for checking the liver and kidney function especially and the Haemacue for a total white cell count.
“We cannot bring samples back to the UK for testing without huge amounts of paperwork and the likelihood [is] that samples would be contaminated, so to have the ability to get all this information from these animals while we were there was invaluable. We were able to get clinical data from 12 chimps, three gorillas and three monkeys.”