Being orphaned and without the comfort of your mother must truly be a traumatic experience. For 10-month old orphaned chimp Farah, he knows just how scary the predicament is. Farah was kept restrained with a metal chain by wildlife traffickers after his mother was killed.
Sadly, it’s not unusual to come across a story of a baby animal who’s been orphaned as a result of human activity. Every year, millions of animals are torn from their homes by this illegal industry which generates a profit of five to 20 million dollars annually. This is a trade driven by the view that animals are commodities — it drives species extinction and tears families apart.
But thankfully for little Farah, he is now in caring hands and recently arrived at Mefou Sanctuary, Ape Action Africa’s safe haven located in Cameroon, a non-profit passionate about gorilla, chimpanzee & monkey conservation.
Understandably, Farah was frightened when he first arrived at Mefou Sanctuary, not understanding the strange sights and sounds. But with Ape Action Africa‘s patience and dedication, Farah is starting to realize not all humans are bad.
The morning after his arrival, Farah realized right away that he could trust his caregiver Stephanie.
On just day two, he allowed Stephanie to groom him very gently on the head and back.
On day three, Farah began playing with the toys Stephanie brought for him, such as chew toys to help with his developing teeth, as well as soft things to hug and carry around. Farah even allowed Ape Action Africa’s volunteer vet treat the wounds around his waist from where he was tied up tightly with a metal chain.
The vet was also able to start treatment for tapeworm and clean up his baby tail, which had become hardened with excrement when he was held captive.
Farah has embraced his toys and loves chewing on them to relive his teething gums.
Farah is still uncomfortable with being picked up and doesn’t laugh when tickled, Ape Action Africa says, but he will sit comfortably with his caregivers, placing one small hand on their knee.
Like any growing baby, Farah has a GIANT appetite! He loves drinking out of his bottle. You’re making wonderful progress, Farah!
The idea of having a pet baby chimpanzee might seem like a lot of fun. After all, these primates are very similar to humans and possess the same playful and intelligent qualities that a human toddler might. Or at least, this is how it might appear on the surface. In reality, there are many consequences that come with keeping chimpanzees as pets. These animals have evolved to thrive in the wild and when they are forced into captivity, it can cause extreme mental distress.
We are so thankful Farah is now safe at Mefour Sanctuary, where he will learn how to live in nature with other primates, like himself and will have a chance at a normal life. If you would like to learn more about the Mefou Primate Sanctuary and the amazing work Ape Action Africa does, click here.
Image source: Ape Action Africa/Facebook