It is with deep sorrow that Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust announced the death of their beloved “Mika”, the alpha male chimpanzee at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Mika has been the Ngamba Island chimpanzee group’s alpha male for over 10 years. He was reported missing on the evening of the 22nd of September, after not returning from the forest. Chimpanzees sometimes prefer to nest in the forest and therefore it was not directly alarming.
However, the caregivers later realised it was no usual occurrence after Mika had not returned in the evenings with the others for more than two days and was not appearing at feedings either. ‘We went around the forest each day, as part of the protocol of dealing with such a situation, in the hope that we would have a glimpse of him but in vain,’ says Sanctuary Manager, Dr. Titus Mukungu.
After Mika had been missing for 10 day, Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary management made arrangements for a search operation in the forest of the sanctuary. This was done in collaboration with Uganda Wildlife Authority. ‘For three days we woke up each morning with a determination to find him. We combed through 95 acres till we finally found his remains on the third day,’ CSWCT’s Executive Director narrates. The cause of death is still to be determined.
Mika was a male chimpanzee, estimated to have been born in 1992. He arrived at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in October 1998, after being rescued from an Egyptian Circus in Kampala, Uganda. Mika was a dark, built, masculine individual with a scar on his fore head. He was 4th ranking amongst the males in 2004, helped Eddie overthrow the then alpha male, Robbie but after a few weeks he overthrow Eddie and took the top position till his death. The keepers nicknamed him ‘city-boy’ because they say he was very ‘street wise’, loved commotion and displayed a lot while in the forest.
A fund to honour the memory of fallen alpha male, Mika has been set up. Join Great Lakes Safaris and all friends of CSWCT to continue the conservation of this endangered species- man’s closest relatives. Click here to join the cause!