Help us save more
“We saved Aimi, Annie and Commando thanks to the contributors
at LoveDornier228, the Dornier 228 community and RUAG MRO International!”
Annie Olivecrona, African Apes Foundation.
Chimpanzees the Dornier 228 Community has helped save:
Warden Mr. Jonathan, Director Kuol, Advisor Akwoch, John from Wildlife Security and many others who have aided Annie in saving chimpanzees feel proud as they see an account of their hard work published in LoveDornier228. In the back several of the team play with the newly saved chimpanzees.
The challenge continues
According to the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), chimpanzees are now extinct in the African countries of Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo – and have been since 2016. UNEA also stated in their 2016 Global Partnership in the European Union Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking presentation that, “Wildlife crime is a serious and growing problem and now ranks as the fourth largest illegal trade after arms, drugs and human trafficking.” The African Apes Foundation led by Annie Olivecrona is one of the few organizations helping to rescue chimpanzees from wildlife and bushmeat trafficking.
Victoria, John & Miriam’s road to salvation
Khamis Ding, Director of CITES in Juba, called Annie about three chimps in Yambio who also needed rescuing. She obtained transportation funding from RUAG Aviation and KASAS. Collecting the chimps legally and bringing them under her care is the first step in a rescue. The second step is to place them in a wildlife sanctuary with other chimpanzees so they can spend the remainder of their lives safe, healthy and comfortable.
Step 1: Collecting the chimps
Two of the three new chimps, John and Miriam, awaited rescue in Yambia, while the other, Victoria, was in the hands of a private owner. The owner tried to sell Victoria to Annie for 5,000 US dollars but Annie refused. This may sound strange, but the fact of the matter is that if wildlife authorities start to pay for chimpanzees, it encourages illegal wildlife trade.
Annie called Wildlife Security and asked them to look into the situation and confiscate the chimpanzee. James Marial, a.k.a. Juliet Mike, came to her aid and found the location of Victoria. He convinced Victoria’s owners to hand her over. Having kept her with him for the night, he then brought her to Acacia Lodge in Juba, where chimpanzee caretaker and long-time friend of Annie’s, Benjamin Mangar, awaited. Benjamin looked after her until Annie could organize transportation to the Chimfunshi wildlife reserve.
John and Miriam
Later, Annie flew to Yambio on a Dornier 228 with two pilots from KASAS, Will Wood and Adam Bowen. Both pilots asked to partake in retrieving John and Miriam. Annie gladly accepted. Upon landing, Wildlife Warden Mr. Jonathan met the team at the airstrip with the official paperwork Annie needed to transport the chimps.
Afterward, the team drove to the compound where John and Miriam were kept. The first chimp to be taken in was Miriam and the other was a little boy chimp called John. He was very young (under one year old) and malnourished.
Miriam waiting to be rescued.
Miriam had four padlocks around her canvas collar, which was attached to a motorbike chain nailed to a very heavy mahogany plank. The plank had another motorbike chain that was nailed to the root of a very large mahogany tree, beneath which both chimpanzees sat, unable to touch each other. Little John had pieces of cloth tied together around his waist and another piece of cloth roughly one meter in length tied to the root. They had lived this way for some time.
Once the chimps were safely released and in their crates, everyone headed back to the Dornier 228 and they all flew on to meet Benjamin Mangar and Victoria at Acacia Lodge in Juba.
Step 2: Getting to Chimfunshi wildlife sanctuary
John and Miriam
Annie was happy that Victoria, Miriam and John were all at least now under her and Benjamin’s care. The next step was to find funds to transport all three to Chingola, Zambia, where the Chimfunshi wildlife sanctuary is located. Once again, KASAS, Will Wood and Adam Bowen came to Annie’s aid. It would be a long flight with several legs, so care was given to make sure the chimps had enough food and milk.
Before evening fell that day, the chimps were released into their new enclosures and rooms at the sanctuary. The resident chimps – including old friends that LoveDornier228 had previously helped save: Juma, Congo, Linton, Aimi, Annie and Commando,– were all doing the pan-hoot as Victoria, John and Miriam looked out from their crates and slowly entered their new home. Once inside their new enclosures they found food which was new to them, such as spinach and bush oranges. The first thing Miriam did was to explore the entire area as she took John on her back and went inside, where she found hay for bedding. She immediately started making a sleeping nest for herself! She still remembered her mother making a sleeping nest and was now copying her, which she did very well. Later they were given blankets to sleep on, they ate and drank some more and then went happily to sleep.
Please donate to the African Apes Foundation and help Annie bring more chimpanzees to safety!
Warden Mr. Jonathan, Director General of Wildlife in South Sudan; Kuol Mayen Mading, Advisor to the Minister of Wildlife; Advisor Alfred Akwoch; Annie Olivecrona, Director of the African Apes Foundation; and John from Wildlife Security. They stand in front of the plane that brought Miriam and John from Yambio.