By Kate Good
Every year, millions of animals are forcefully taken from their wild habitats and sold into the illegal wildlife trade. These animals range from lions, tigers, monkeys, pangolins, turtles and a myriad of others, but they all suffer the same traumatic fate of being exploited, abused, and in some cases killed, for profit.
Ranked among the world’s most lucrative illicit trade, the illegal wildlife market is responsible for the steady decline of many wild animal species. In the eyes of wildlife traders, animals are nothing more than commodities and as such, their well-being is of very little concern.
A baby chimp who was recently rescued by West African authorities, sadly, is an example of this treatment.
After killing the chimp’s mother, the traffickers shoved the vulnerable infant into a wooden box where she was held for two whole weeks. Terrified, traumatized and alone, the chimp had little hope of ever seeing her wild home again. The smugglers who captured her planned to sell her into the exotic pet trade or the captivity industry, either way they would get a huge payoff.
Thankfully, the smugglers were stopped at a checkpoint in Sierra Leone as part of a joint operation designed to combat the wildlife trade by the Guinea Ministry of Environment, the Gendarmerie and the Guinée-Application de la Loi Faunique (GALF) project.
A spokeswoman for Eco Activists for Governance and Law Enforcement told the DailyMail that tens and thousands of chimps fall victim to the illegal wildlife trade every year. The majority of these chimpanzees die while in transit due to neglect, however, those that live are faced with a possible more tragic life in captivity.
This little chimp is free from any further threat of harm, thankfully. Experts believe that she will make a full recovery after this traumatic event and thrive in her new sanctuary home.
She is now living in the care of a West African sanctuary that specializes in caring for orphaned chimpanzees. With a proper diet and a group of friends with which she can play and grow, this little chimp will soon forget all the pain she has suffered in her young life.
Good luck, chimp! Photos.