Baby Chimp Was Kept In A Box For Months, Clinging To A Dirty Rag For Comfort

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Help me understand something that I am unable to wrap my head around: why is it that people are so cruel to animals? I mean, they’re animals! They’re these cute little creatures that just radiate pure joy and love, how can you ever be mean to that? And what gets me even more, is how any person could ever hurt or neglect a baby animal – I mean, come on! It’s a baby!

We’ve all heard about unfortunate cases of animal cruelty involving baby animals. But thankfully, this story has a happy ending, although the start was pretty rough. Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection first received an anonymous tip, which led to a raid on a supply shop in Kakata, Liberia. There, they found a little baby chimp inside a cardboard box. The poor baby was so stressed and traumatized, that she was rocking back and forth, clinging to a dirty old rag which was her only source of comfort.

Photo: Facebook / liberiachimpanzeerescue.org

It was a gut-wrenching sight for authorities, who learned that the little chimp had spent months inside that box. Founder of LCRP, Jenny Desmond, speculates that the baby’s mother was killed in order to be sold off as bushmeat on the black market, and that left the baby to be kept as a “pet.”

Named Chance, she was only a year old and hadn’t been properly cared for. It was obvious since her “owners” just put her in a box and forgot about her in a corner. Some people are just such gross human beings.

Photo: Facebook / liberiachimpanzeerescue.org

Naturally, this rough start in life had really taken a toll on her. It was evident to her rescuers that she lacked any nurturing and attention from the way she was rocking and clinging. They also noted the vacant look in her eyes – like she was staring at nothing in particular.

Chance

After a lengthy search we (LCRP, FDA, LNP) were able to find this little girl hidden in a small shop in the box she's called home for months. Thank you to all for another succesful confiscation. Chance is now back at LCRP sleeping. As you can see, she has some fluid in her head and stereotypical rocking behaviors but overall she is safe – more details to come.UPDATED PICTURE OF CHANCE – HAPPY AND STRONG! VIEW IN COMMENTS. <3

Posted by Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue on Friday, March 30, 2018

Little Chance was also severely malnourished and emaciated as the only things she was receiving to eat were rice and cornmeal. For her age, she was well underdeveloped. She also appeared to have a fluid build-up on her head, most likely a result of a trauma that she suffered. Her rescuers quickly transported Chance from the shop, swapping out the cloth for a cozy, warm blanket instead.

Photo: Facebook / liberiachimpanzeerescue.org

The little baby girl was taken to the LCRP rehabilitation center, and over time, the rescue team noted amazing changes in her behavior and attitude.

Chance started becoming less dependent on her blanket as her need for an exterior source of comfort started to fade. She also stopped rocking back and forth and began standing up. Chance even held out her arms so she could be held.

The little baby chimp soon became all smiles and started to laugh as her recovery progressed. The staff at the center were humbled by watching her blossom with their steady stream of love and care.

Photo: Facebook / liberiachimpanzeerescue.org

Over the next few years, Chance will be getting the best around-the-clock care while she grows strong and healthy. She will slowly get introduced to the other chimps for social interactions, as well as get integrated into the youngest nursery group. It’s certain that she will never be without a chimpanzee family again.

Update on Chance

Thank you SO MUCH for the amazing outpouring of love and support for LCRP's newest orphan Chance. While we are now fairly certain she will need special care (beyond the usual special 24/7 TLC all the babies get) as she seems to have some developmental and physical situations we will address. We have a pediatric specialist coming to meet her today. For now, she is settling in, getting MUCH more relaxed and even playing a bit. She is learning to ask to be picked up and to grasp with her feet as well as her hands – she spent the past months on the ground so doesn't understand normal clinging behavior when held. We will keep posting updates and count on you wonderful followers to keep spreading the word! We are grateful beyond words for the compassion around the world for Chance and all of LCRP's family members and our work! <3 <3 <3

Posted by Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue on Saturday, March 31, 2018

While it may be a possibility for her to one day return to the wild, that’s a very long and complex process that will be assessed and decided upon at a later date. For now, Desmond’s best guess is that Chance will likely spend her days in a “semi-natural spacious forest environment with other chimpanzees for her lifetime.” Regardless, that is still not a bad way to live. And either way, Chance will have a bright future to look forward to, despite having had such a rough start in life.

Photo: Facebook / liberiachimpanzeerescue.org

If you would like to help contribute something towards Chance’s care, you can click here.

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Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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