Family is everything. Babies rely on their parents from the time they are born for protection, nourishment, and nurturing. It is a tragic loss to be separated from one’s family.
One little chimp had a particularly difficult childhood. Not only were his parents killed when he was extremely young, but he was removed from his home in the wild and isolated from all other chimpanzees. His life was certainly off to a tragic start.
The poor fellow had been living his life with his family when they were murdered by wildlife traffickers. The baby chimp just barely survived – his forehead had been grazed by a bullet during the attack.
This experience would have been tragic enough, but the poor chimp’s journey was far from over. Once his family was gone forever, he was forcibly removed from everything he had ever called home.
The traffickers took the baby and the corpses of his family, which were likely sold for meat. As for this little guy, he was taken through the black market and put up for adoption.
An unnamed man in Liberia couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to own a pet chimp, so he adopted this traumatized toddler. He named the baby Survivor, on account of him being the only one to survive the attack.
The man kept the chimp for a while and enjoyed his wacky antics. Things took a turn for the worse, however, as Survivor grew older. With each passing day, he was bigger and stronger. He was ready to get out and climb trees, but there were no trees for him to climb.
Survivor compromised by climbing on the furniture. He destroyed pretty much anything in his path, leaving his owner with a huge headache. As it turned out, owning a pet chimp wasn’t all it had been cracked up to be.
The man decided that he couldn’t provide this little guy with the home he needed, so he looked into other options. That’s when he reached out to Jenny Desmond, the co-founder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP). He was willing to surrender Survivor so that the young one could grow up in his best life.
Jenny couldn’t have been happier to welcome Survivor into her sanctuary. The chimp was excited too. It was almost as if he knew he was finally home.
“He immediately jumped into my arms when they got out of the car,” Jenny shared with The Dodo. The warm welcome served as a sign that this new situation was meant to be.
Survivor had been completely depressed because of the loss of his family. Without any other chimps to turn to, it had been hard for him to move on. Chimps are closely related to humans, and they are very involved in their social interactions. Being separated from family like this is enough to cause psychological stress and heartache.
When the little chimp saw the other babies playing around him, he knew that he was in a good place. After a moment with Jenny, he began to stare off at his new companions. He then pushed off of his new caretaker and ran to join the others.
Survivor had been through a lot, but he had finally found a fitting home. “Look at this amazing boy,” Jenny wrote on Facebook, “who has made it through losing his mother, being sold on the black market, and years of isolation without a chimpanzee family.”
Unfortunately, tragedies like this are all too common. Wild adult chimpanzees are targeted by poachers for their meat, while the baby chimps are illegally sold into the pet trade.
This destructive behavior, together with habitat loss, has caused utter chaos for the chimp population in general. Just one century ago, estimations placed the chimp population of Africa at 2 million; now it is estimated to be a mere 350,000. If this decline continues, our planet will be deprived of yet another magnificent species.
LCRP is working with organizations at an international level to create the very first World Chimpanzee Day. This publicity tactic will raise awareness about the obstacles chimps face, and it will teach people all over the world about these precious creatures.
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Source: The Dodo