Trio of Abandoned Chimpanzees Reaches Safety in DR Congo
Three young chimpanzees that were discovered without food or water at an abandoned captive facility in the Democratic Republic of Congo reached safety at a sanctuary today, following a two-month effort by the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) and a coalition of African conservation and welfare organizations.
The chimpanzees ??????? two males and a female, all believed to be between three and five years of age ??????? arrived at the JACK sanctuary in Lubumbashi, where they will ultimately join the 29 orphaned chimpanzees already in residence.
PASA worked closely with organizations in the region to coordinate the rescue, including the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP), the African Conservation Foundation (ACF), Virunga Park, JACK, and the Congolese wildlife authority (ICCN).
The rescue and transfer of the chimpanzees was funded primarily by the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) ??????? UK, in association with the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund??????s Rapid Response Fund, the Columbus Zoo, and PASA.
??????This was a very difficult transfer that required coordination and cooperation between so many organizations,?????? said Doug Cress, executive director of PASA. ??????It??????s not easy to move three chimpanzees over 1,000 miles, and every step ??????? from building shipping crates to conducting health checks to building new enclosures to arranging a flight ??????? had to be done under extreme pressure. But PASA is committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of primates across Africa, and we are fortunate to have partners that share that vision.??????
The chimpanzees were discovered in late December at Suena, a small captive facility in eastern DR Congo, along with two older chimpanzees and a pair of monkeys. None of the primates had received food or water for days, and several were extremely sick and weak.
Founded in 2005 by South Africans Pieter and Sumarita Boshoff, Suena at one time had as many as 12 primates in its care. The Boshoffs are believed to have left DR Congo.
The monkeys were sent to the nearby Lwiro sanctuary in January, and will be joined there by the older chimpanzees in the near future.
JACK is a chimpanzee sanctuary established in 2006 on the grounds of the Lubumbashi Zoo. JACK works closely with PASA on a variety of projects, and is in the process of applying for PASA membership.
PASA was formed in 2000 to unite the sanctuaries across Africa that rescue and rehabilitate chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and thousands of other endangered primates. For more information, please visit the PASA website, the PASA Facebook page, Twitter , or contact email@example.com.