Between all of the worries that come with being a human – shelter, food, water, achieving success – it can be difficult to step out of ourselves and acknowledge the plight of other animals. Tigers are being exploited every day in the tourism industry, elephants around the world are still in circuses and subjected to torturous training tactics, and tens of thousands of marine animals are dying every year due to the actions of humans. With all of these terrible things happening simultaneously, it can feel like your heart is getting tugged in every direction. Unsurprisingly, some people choose to shut themselves off completely and avoid confronting these difficult realities.
Other people see all of this tragedy, cruelty, and heartache, and extend their hand to help in any way they can. The Ape Action Africa team is a good example of the type of individuals who aim to make the world a better place through their actions. The organization is committed to ape conservation in Africa, a much-needed effort considering the fact that every year thousands of these animals are ripped from their natural habitat by poachers, looking to sell them through the illegal wildlife trade. Ape Action Africa protects Cameroon’s great apes through direct action by rescuing hundreds of orphaned gorillas, chimpanzees, and monkeys and giving them a safe forest sanctuary home where they can live with their own kind.
Here is Thierry, a former staff member of Ape Action Africa with one of the apes the organization managed to save. The way this ape slings his arm over Thierry’s shoulder clearly illustrates the comfort and safety these animals feel around caretakers who open their hearts to them.
When we see humans and primates interacting in this manner, the similarities between our two species are undeniable. One is not above the other, one is not a being and the other property, they are equal. Both experience pain, both experience happiness, and both just want to live peacefully. Ape Action Africa understands this concept and aims to raise awareness so that others can also realize this truth. The sooner we do, the better the world will be. To learn more about Ape Action Africa, visit their official website.
Image source: We Animals/Facebook