Another baby chimp arrived at Tacugama just a few days ago. Kortu hails from the same area as baby Michael who reached us just weeks ago (and is doing a lot better now). We had given the employees from the palm oil plantation who brought in Michael some large posters to spread the message that hunting and keeping chimpanzees is illegal in Sierra Leone. Possibly this was the cause that the villager just handed Kortu over to plantation staff, rather than trying to sell her, like with Michael.
After filling in the necessary forms, where palm oil employee Tom tried to give us as much information as possible about Kortu’s history, she was entrusted to Mama Posseh’s expert care. This was the second time Tom had made the long drive from the provinces to Tacugama with a baby chimp within 6 weeks!
These two recent arrivals from the same area highlight the importance of sensitizing the local population there about the special role of chimpanzees as well as making sure they know it is illegal to hunt chimps or keep them as pets. Tacugama has a lot of experience in outreach projects in many parts of Sierra Leone and is already in talks with local chiefs and the director of the palm oil plantation about how to shape a sensitization campaign in that area.
Our ultimate goal is of course to have chimps be safe from threats in their natural habitat, and no longer have any new chimps needing sanctuary at Tacugama.