Chimpanzee Rescue in Guinea
An abandoned chimpanzee has been brought to safety in Guinea, after a lengthy rescue mission funded by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
Our project partners Chimpanzee Conservation Centre (CCC) received reports of the adult male living in the Gouela area of Lola Prefecture. It seemed he was used to humans and was coming into conflict with local people – a local woman complained she had been bitten by the chimp and the community was threatening to kill the animal unless action was taken.
After consulting local authorities, it was confirmed that the chimp was an ex-captive chimpanzee and not behaving like a wild primate. It was therefore decided that his presence in the area was a danger to local people and a recovery mission was launched.
The chimpanzee was reported to be between the villages of Bourata and Gouela and the CCC team set off on their rescue operation. After a journey of more than 24 hours on rough roads, which took its toll on the team’s vehicle, they finally located the chimp in the middle of the road that leads to the border. He was easily darted and put in a transport cage.
Unfortunately the journey back to base was a long one – the team’s vehicle broke down and the whole rescue mission took three days.
The rescued chimpanzee was named “Gouéla” after the village where he was found. He is the second adult chimpanzee that CCC has received in a year; a female was rescued last July near Kissidougou in similar conditions.
“Gouéla arrived at CCC in apparent good health and shows appropriate behaviour when the other chimpanzees vocalize,” said Matthieu Laurans, CCC Programmes Director.
“He will stay in quarantine for the next three months before possibly being integrated with the other chimpanzees. The management of these individuals is very complicated and requires very expensive long-term captivity infrastructures.
“Fortunately we’ve built a complex this year for non-releasable chimpanzees, that can house several adult chimpanzees. Gouéla will probably spend some time there before we are able to assess if he could be integrated into a social group.”
In the last six years more than 14,000 chimpanzees have been lost to the illegal wildlife trade. One chimp is poached every four hours to satisfy consumer demand and these animals are now on the road to extinction.
The rescue of Gouéla by the DSWF funded CCC was made possible by your generous support of our work to protect these intelligent and sensitive creatures.
Thank you for helping us help chimps – our closest living relatives. Find out more about our position on the international trade in chimps here.