This could be the loneliest chimp in the world, all he wants is a friend.
A 40 year old chimps name Ponso, was dumped on an abandoned island off the Ivory Coast more than 30 years ago after being used for medical testing. He has out lived all of his companions, his mate and their two children.
This tiny island he lives on has no source of food and water. He relies on the kindness of the villager, Germain, who’s dropped off bananas and bread for him ever since he was left to die.
All though his experience with humans put him here all alone and destitute, the gentle chimp welcomes visitors with open arms. Recently, Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center, visited him and he couldn’t have been happier to see a friendly face.
He gave her a huge hug and even laughed when she reached out to touch him!
He looks forward to his human visitors and enjoys his precious time with them~
Sadly, Ponso’s pends his life trapped on the empty island, relying on strangers to supply his next meal.
While Ponso is alone on his little island, there are others like him. Ponso is one of dozens of chimps who were stranded on these abandoned islands after the New York Blood Center (NYBC) finished years of painful testing. The islands have no source of food or water, so NYBC kept them alive for a few years by dropping off supplies and vaccinating them.
Chimpanzee Conservation Center announced last spring that it was cutting off funding to the other stranded chimps as well, leaving them to starve to death.
Jane Goodall called the announcement “completely shocking and unacceptable.” Duke University primatologist Brian Hare told the New York Times, “Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this.”
Since then, the surviving chimps have been cared for by animal welfare groups and generous members of the public. The chimps’ supporters have also fought to hold NYBC responsible for the animals it abandoned.
Yes, food and water is a life necessity for the chimps survival, but the love, touch and companionship of humans is what these special chimps really need and cherish!
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