Rescuers are racing to save three baby chimpanzees from the bushmeat trade in the Central African Republic (CAR). A Good Samaritan spotted juvenile chimpanzees that were being held captive to be fattened up for the cookpot after their mothers were killed for the same fate. With the support and careful guidance of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Good Samaritan was able to secure the release of four of these orphans. Sadly, one of them died last week and time is running out for the remaining three. Our Good Samaritan is leaving CAR in the next week and there will be no one to protect and care for these vulnerable babies.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is helping the Chimpanzee Sanctuary to charter a plane from their headquarters in Uganda to rescue these chimpanzees before it’s too late.
IFAW believes that wild animals belong in the wild, but these babies are too young to survive on their own. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary will provide them with lifetime care once they are safe and have been treated by the Sanctuary’s veterinary team.
The UN estimates that about 579 million forest mammals are killed annually in central Africa to support the bushmeat trade. Hunting for bushmeat may take place in remote, poor villages, but it is often driven by rich city dwellers that pay large amounts for wild animals to put on their dinner plates. This commercial trade places pressures on poor communities to expand from subsistence hunting for their own food to unsustainable hunting that can lead to rapid decline in wildlife populations as demand quickly outpaces supply. Bushmeat can also pose a threat to human safety. Diseases like rabies, measles and even Ebola may be carried by wild primates and capturing these animals puts hunters at risk of catching these diseases.
IFAW works with local populations in countries like Malawi to help secure national parks to prevent poaching and engage local communities in incentive-based programs to secure a sustainable future for wildlife.
Article source: IFAW