Jenny and Jim Desmond arrived in Liberia in 2015 with one purpose — to handle care for 66 chimpanzees that had been used in medical testing and then abandoned by a blood bank based in New York. Very quickly, the scope of their work expanded beyond just that one group of abandoned chimps.
In a video recorded on June 19, 2017, Jenny and Jim are bringing awareness to their efforts to provide a sanctuary for baby chimps orphaned due to another issue — illegal poaching.
The footage shows the baby chimps playing and cuddling their newfound, human parents as Jenny explains the heartbreaking circumstances that have left these babies motherless.
Soon after their arrival to help the chimps who had been subjected to medical testing, people began bringing them chimps who had narrowly escaped murderous poachers for the illegal bushmeat and exotic pet trades. In their first year alone, the Desmonds were brought 10 orphaned chimps.
Those orphans, Jenny explains, live together as a makeshift family, since they cannot be returned to the wild.
One of the baby chimps, Gola, was just 2 months old when she was seized from a hunter who had just killed her mother.
The Desmonds are aiming to conserve the chimpanzee population in their natural habitat so that sanctuaries aren’t needed. But their immediate need is to create a refuge that can function as a “semi-natural” environment for the sweet apes.
For more information about the Desmonds’ work, check out their Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue page on Facebook.
Please SHARE with your friends and family on Facebook the inspiring work that Jenny and Jim are doing with these orphaned chimps!
Thumbnail Photo: Twitter / Jimmy Jenny Desmond (@jjdesmond)
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