Jenny Desmond, a woman who has dedicated her life to rescuing chimpanzees, heard about a baby chimp being sold by an exotic pet trafficker and her heart dropped to the floor.
The pet trafficker, located in Monrovia, the capital of Libera, had posted a photo of the tiny baby girl and Jenny knew that they had to rescue her.
Immediately jumping into action, Jenny was determined to save this little chimpanzee. Jenny runs the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection organization with her husband Jim, and since they weren’t located in Monrovia, they had to come up with a plan.
Together, working with local wildlife authorities, Jenny and her husband set up a sting operation to lure the exotic pet trafficker to their property. Basically, Jenny would have to secretly film the man saying that he wants money in exchange for the baby chimpanzee.
Thankfully, their undercover sting operation worked and the trafficker was arrested by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) – the agency that enforces wildlife laws in Liberia.
Jenny first got into the rescuing of chimpanzees when she found out that Liberian officials turned a blind eye to the sale of the animal, putting them in grave danger. That’s when Jenny knew she had to set up her very own sanctuary for the threatened creature.
Liberian officials, even if they had wanted to do something about the sale of chimpanzees, had nowhere to put them once they were confiscated. Sadly, this is how the exotic pet trade has flourished so much in the first place.
Jenny and Jim Desmond arrived in Liberia in 2015 and have since rescued 20 chimpanzees that were being trafficked.
In their earlier years of operation, Jenny and Jim basically only had a makeshift sanctuary to keep the primates. Then, by 2017, the Desmonds were able to lease a 100-acre tract of forest land near a river. This would be the location of their permanent chimpanzee sanctuary. Now, they help baby chimpanzees grow and learn.
Of course, being an animal lover, Jenny loves and adores all of the chimpanzees she’s rescued but the one from the sting operation has stolen her heart – Jenny named her Ella.
Ella was either orphaned or had been kidnapped and had found her way into the hands of exotic pet traffickers.
Thankfully, due to their quick thinking and undercover sting operation, they were able to get Ella into safety and out of harm’s way. The arrest of the trafficker was a major win as well.
Now, Ella can’t stop giving hugs and kisses to her new adoptive mom. The two of them have formed an absolutely incredible bond together. Ella acts just like a normal human baby; laughing, climbing all over the place, and just being silly. Of course, never sitting still unless she’s sleeping! She’s also made so many new friends!
The smile on Ella’s face is absolutely incredible. It’s clear that she couldn’t be happier in her new home. Watch her cuteness in action in the video below.
We couldn’t be more grateful for people like Jenny and Jim Desmond. To think of how many chimpanzees’ lives they’ve saved and will continue to save is just heartwarming.
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