Mira was a young chimpanzee, chained up in a village in Liberia when a miracle happened. So many people came together to give her a chance at a good life.
Chimps are closely related to human beings, but in Africa, they are often hunted for bushmeat leaving many of the young chimps left orphaned, sold into the pet trade or kept chained up and captive.
That’s why Jenny and Jimmy Desmond began a sanctuary for orphaned chimps named Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue (LCR). The sanctuary allows the animals grow up free from fear. Princess, a rescue dog also helped the Desmonds comfort the young chimps after the trauma of losing their families.
Jenny Desmond knew just how to make Mira feel safe when she arrived in Kakata. Mira climbed into Jenny’s arms even before the heavy chain around her neck was cut off. It took rescuers half an hour before it was cut through.
“Removing her chains was a true miracle,” Jenny said.
Mira’s rescue is also symbolic of a larger shift in the region. It was the first rescue that was fully coordinated across government agencies, showing a new commitment to standing up for wild animals in need.
“This is a groundbreaking event and took great planning and collaboration between many individuals and sophisticated strategies upon arrival at the site,” the sanctuary wrote on Facebook. “The truly amazing work of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority and Liberia National and Local Police Units shows the immense commitment to stopping illegal wildlife trade in the country.”
Mira is getting used to life at the sanctuary, learning to swing and play. Soon she’ll be meeting the other residents at the sanctuary.
“We’re so excited and happy for Mira,” Jenny said.
Mira seems to be excited and happy, too.
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