Along with bonobos, chimpanzees are humans’ closest biological kin. Their expressive faces, human-like eyes, and vast mental and physical capabilities have always drawn people to them, but not always for the best reasons. Funded by zoos, the entertainment and tourism industries, and private owners who view keeping exotic animals as pets as an indicator of elevated social status, wildlife traffickers pay poachers meager sums to kidnap wild animals like chimpanzees. Babies are the easiest to kidnap and the easiest to sell, and in order to get their hands on a precious baby, poachers typically kill off the adults in the group.
Luckily, there are some who manage to survive these vicious poachers, including three beautiful baby chimpanzees who are now safe with Lwiro Primates, a primate care center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kashebere, Nishuli, and Elikya Busakara are orphans of poaching shown here with their caretaker at Lwiro Primates. At less than two years old, they have already experienced unimaginable trauma and loss. All exhibit various signs of trauma, like pulling their hair out, but they are showing hopeful signs of rehabilitation too, like laughing.
These baby chimpanzees are truly stunning and precious, and we wish them all the best of luck on their long road to recovery.
To learn more about the work Lwiro Primates does and to donate to their mission, visit their website here.
You can help fight poachers and the wildlife trade by never supporting businesses like roadside zoos or animal selfie attractions that exploit animals for a profit. And remember to educate your friends and families on the issues surrounding the wildlife trade by sharing this with them.
Image Source: Lwiro Primates/Facebook