Help us save more
Remember Congo, Juma and Ezo from our last edition? Well, today, they are happier than ever. Ezo was renamed “Linton” by his caretaker, which means Little Man in the Dinka language. After their rescue in 2017, it came to light that another four chimpanzees from the south-eastern corner of the Central African Republic (CAR) were in need of rescue. They are also victims of the illegal bush meat trade. Annie, from the African Apes Foundation, was again asked to help.
As Annie began her preparations, something terrible happened. The area where the chimpanzees where being held (Zemio and Obo) was invaded, resulting in civil unrest. The mobile towers in Zemio were destroyed, causing all communications to break down. Annie lost contact regarding the whereabouts of the four chimpanzees.
Distraught, she believed all four to be lost but waited for confirmation, hoping her suspicions were wrong. Suddenly, the missionaries managed to regain contact and started flying in under United Nations (UN) escort. She was informed that at least three of the chimps were still alive. She began all the logistical preparations and sprang into action right away. It was important to evacuate the three chimpanzees from the area as soon as possible. The plan was to gather the new three, unite them with the first three and bring them all to the Chimfunshi Wildlife Sanctuary for chimpanzees in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province.
The logistics proved to be quite complicated. While Annie worked with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) permits both in Zambia and in South Sudan, the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) in CAR (Central African Republic) found a fourth chimp in Bangui who needed help. Bangui would be quite a detour from the original route. Still, Annie revised her plans to include her.
Marc Pearson, who lives in Obo and Bangui, offered to help. He flew to Bangui from Obo and tracked down the female chimpanzee named Vicky. In the meantime, he picked up the crates and documents in Bangui that Annie sent him from Nairobi. Marc organized a charter flight from Bangui to carry him and Vicky to Zemio, where he would pick up the other two chimps. He would then fly onto Obo and meet Twig, another pilot and a third chimp, Little Annie. The idea was that Graham (Twig) Walsh, his pilot and the three chimps would then fly onto Juba where they would meet Annie, Juma, Congo and Linton. All of them would then fly on to their new home together. Sadly, the people holding Vicky refused to let her go. Marc had seen Vicky earlier that week and she seemed in good health and properly looked after.
Aimi, a female chimp around eight years old, was waiting in Zemio. Due to the lack of food around she is skinny and her body is smaller than normal. “She is amazingly sweet natured,” Annie says. Another chimp, a three-year-old male named Little Commando, was also kept alive by the same caring people who shared what little they had with the two. Annie says: “He is also a very nice natured little guy. When the people who saved them were invaded, they took the chimps with them as they fled into the bushes and managed to keep them alive until now.” Marc loaded them up and took off to Obo to meet Twig with two of the three chimps they planned to rescue.
Before flying to Bangui, Marc had also arranged for another girl to be rescued. Some time ago, the wife of the village governor noticed that some people were keeping a female chimpanzee. She was upset that the chimp was not looked after properly and confiscated her. The governor’s wife has cared for her since hoping
for the day she could send her to a better place. She heard Marc was coming to the airport and asked him if there was anything that could be done to give the chimp a better life. Marc agreed to help her. Little Annie, as she was named in Zambia by Sheila Siddle, the founder of Chimfunshi, then joined the other two from Zemio.
At the airport in Obo, Twig and a female African pilot (name unknown) waited for four hours before Marc arrived. They happily gathered the three chimps and flew onto Juba to meet Annie, Juma, Congo and Linton (previously Ezo). In Juba, they waited for three days before flying on to Nairobi and then to Zambia.
In Ndola, Zambia, Annie and the group were met by the station manager for Kenya Airways and everybody from Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The sanctuary had managed to do all the clearing the day before, so everything went smoothly and the group was soon on the long five-hour drive to Chimfunshi. When they arrived, the chimps were finally let out of the crates and into the spacious quarantine area. They will live here for three months while various tests are done before the chimps are released into the general population.
“The chimps looked so happy and ate a lot of food and played with their new toys. They slept happily on the dry thick grass beds with blankets on top. I have seldom seen or heard more happy and content chimps on arrival and it feels so good that these amazing, lovely and sweet characters now have a home forever and can be with others of their kind for the rest of their lives.” – Annie
Annie and Twig need your help
Annie and Twig, a Dornier 228 owner and pilot, have another little chimp who needs help in Obo. A round-trip flight to bring the little one to the Chimfunshi Sanctuary costs 6,300 US dollars. RUAG has generously offered the first 3,150 US dollars. Please help us raise the second half, every little bit counts. The account information is below. Please let us know when you donate (send us a picture of you and your company if you like) and we will post it on our LinkedIn site. Let’s work together and save another life!
Bankgiro: 829-4308 or Account number at SEB 5293-10 104 64
IBAN number: SE6250000000052931010464
BIC/SWIFT Code: ESSESESS, Organization number: 802477-3429