Rescued Baby Chimps Take It In Turns To Hug Newest Family Member
Leo had no friends in the world after losing his parents to the illegal and dangerous animal trade.
More than 80 orphaned chimpanzees have found a home and a haven at LCRP, which is referred to as “the first and only refuge in Liberia for all chimpanzees in need.” These chimpanzees were all rescued from sad conditions in the West African country.
However, for chimpanzees like Leo to develop into healthy adults, more than simply diligent care is required. To flourish properly, they also depend on one another.
A long time ago, Leo was all alone in the world. He prefers being in a bizarre place over being in the wild with his family. He was seen in the bar by Jenny Desmond, cofounder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP).
“Leo was first reported living at a bar,” Desmond told The Dodo. “Unfortunately, by the time we received the report and sent a team to the bar, the chimpanzee was no longer there.”
But by the time they went to the bar with the team to search for the baby chimp, he was no longer there.
Desmond and her husband Jim refused to give up. They promised themselves that they would look for the baby chimp. The couple kept tracking down the baby chimp. But in the end, their effort was not in vain.
“He had been spirited away and hidden in the same town but behind a home,” Desmond said. “Through some investigation authorities were informed there was a chimpanzee being kept at this location … [We] were thrilled we had not completely lost Leo forever.”
Baby chimp later met a family where he could belong and be saved, but before he could meet and adapt to his new home, he needed some time.
“They spend some alone with us so they can wind down, learn to trust and gain a bit of physical strength,” Desmond explained.
“We also have to assess them medically and Jimmy gives them a basic health check. We work with them to eat and rehydrate and, most of all, sit with them so they get lots of TLC, as we know the trauma they’ve experienced.”
Not so long, he was introduced to the youngest group of chimps at the sanctuary which made him choose the group that felt like a home to him.
“After a day, he spotted the middle group (in the video) and rushed to the door asking to meet them,” she said. “We decided to allow this to happen under close and careful supervision and it ended up being one of the most amazing interactions we’ve witnessed.”
He was embraced and accepted to stay with the group and he hugged them all because he was happy he found a new home!
“He was embraced fully and chose to stay with the group full time from this moment on,” LCRP wrote on Instagram.
“Leo and his ‘sisters and brothers’ will continue to live out their days with their caregivers at their sides,” Desmond said. “They spend their days playing, climbing, interacting with one another, eating nutritious meals and simply being chimps.”