An anonymous phone call led Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection to a goods store in Kakata, Liberia, where they discovered a little newborn chimpanzee inside a carton.
Due to stress and anguish, she was rocking back and forth and clutching at an old layer of cloth for comfort.
It was a horrible scene, and they later discovered that the infant had been in this box for months. Jenny Desmond, the LCRP’s founder, believes the chimpanzee’s parents were kil.led and sold on the black market for bushmeat, leaving the infant to be kept as a pet. Chance was just one year old and had no one to look after her. Her guardians didn’t seem to care and placed her in a box in the corner.
This way of life has apparent consequences for the infant chimp. The rocking and clutching are apparent signs of stress as well as a lack of care and attention. Rescuers also saw a lifeless expression in her eyes as she looked off into space.
Chance was terribly underweight and thin, having only been given rice and cornmeal. She was underdeveloped for her age and appeared to have fluid buildup in her skull, most likely due to trauma. Chance was quickly removed from the store by rescuers, who replaced her clothes with a cozy warm blanket.
The newborn girl was sent to the LCRP rehabilitation facility, where the rescue crew saw an incredible shift in behavior and attitude. As her need for an external source of consolation reduced, she grew less reliant on the blanket. Chance eventually stopped swaying back and forth and began to stand. She even extended her arms to be hugged.
Chance could be seen happy and laughing as she progressed and recovered quickly. It was a wonderful experience for the team to see her flourish under their care.
Chance will get 24-hour care from LCRP over the next several years to help her become happy and fit. She’ll be exposed to other chimpanzees for contact gradually, and she’ll be incorporated into their youngest nursery group. She’ll never be without chimp relatives again.
It’s conceivable that Chance may return to the wild eventually, but it will be a lengthy and involved procedure that will need to be examined and accessed later. Desmond’s best bet is that the chimp will spend her whole life in a “seminatural large woodland area with other chimps.” Chance, in any case, seems to have a bright future after such a bleak start in life.
If you’d want to contribute to Chance’s care, you may do so here.