Chinoise is a young chimpanzee who lives at Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC), in Cameroon.
In 2013, when Chinoise was just a few weeks old, her mother was killed by poachers and she was sold as a pet to a Chinese restaurant in Douala, Cameroon. But she was rescued and now receives expert lifetime care at Limbe.
LWC is a highly-respected sanctuary for chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates, with an extensive local outreach and education programme. Its dedicated team care for animals that have been confiscated from the pet trade, many of which are ‘bushmeat orphans’ – chimps whose families have been killed for food.
Chinoise is loving life at LWC. “Chinoise always has a playful and cheeky expression on her face and loves eating the plant aframomum,” says Born Free’s Rescue & Care Manager Maggie Balaskas.
“Chinoise is still too young to be integrated into one of the big chimpanzee groups. But in the meantime she happily remains in the comfort of the nursery, together with other chimps Ngambe, Jackie and Ghaa – the older male who is a little disabled having been rescued suffering from bullet wounds.”
“Chinoise has been integral in Jackie’s rehabilitation,” Balaskas adds. “Jackie was kept as a pet for 17 years and needed help to learn to be a chimp again. Meanwhile, calm Ghaa is an excellent companion for Chinoise, teaching her what kind of behaviour will and will not be tolerated by older chimps.”
LWC provides a long-term solution for confiscated wildlife. Working with the local and international community, LWC aims to secure the survival of the endangered species of Cameroon. Where possible, confiscated animals are released back into the wild but for many species such as apes, finding suitable habitat free from threat but with room for new populations to be introduced is challenging.
Born Free is a long-standing supporter of LWC, having supported their work since 2004. Help Limbe Wildlife Centre and Born Free continue their work to provide lifetime care for the chimpanzees in their care by adopting Chinoise today.