Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue And Protection received an anonymous tip and raided a supply shop in Kakata, Liberia, to find a tiny baby chimp inside of a cardboard box. She was rocking back and forth due to stress and trauma and clinging to an old piece of cloth for comfort.
It was a heartbreaking sight, and they learned the baby had been kept in this box for months. Jenny Desmond, founder of LCRP, figures the chimp’s mother was killed off to be sold on the black market for bushmeat leaving the baby to be kept as a pet. Chance was only one-year-old and had no one to properly care for her. Her owners didn’t seem to care much and put her in a box and left her in the corner.
This lifestyle had token obvious tolls on the baby chimp. The rocking and clinging being clear indicators of stress and a lack of nurturing and attention. Rescuers also noted a vacant look in her eyes as she stared off at nothing in particular.
Chance was only being fed rice and cornmeal and was severely malnourished and emaciated. She was underdeveloped for her age and appeared to have some sort of fluid build-up in her head that most likely resulted from trauma. Rescuers quickly took Chance from the shop and swapped out her cloth for a nice warm blanket instead.
The baby girl was transported to the LCRP rehabilitation center where the rescue team witnessed an amazing change in behavior and attitude. She became less dependant on the blanket as her need for an outside source of comfort diminished. Chance soon stopped rocking back and forth and started to stand up. She even held out her arms to be held. 🙂
Chance could be seen smiling and laughing as she continued to progress and recover rapidly. It was an incredible thing for the staff to watch her blossom under their care.
Chance will receive around-the-clock care over the next few years with LCRP to help her grow strong and healthy. She’ll slowly be introduced to other chimps for interaction and be integrated into their youngest nursery group. She’ll never again be without chimpanzee family members.
It’s possible Chance could return to the wild someday, but that’s a long and complex process that will need to be looked at and accessed later on. Desmond’s best guess is that the chimp will likely live in a “seminatural spacious forest environment with other chimpanzees for her lifetime.” Either way, Chance looks to have a bright future after such a sad start to life.
If you’d like to help with Chance’s care, you can donate here.