We have a new addition to the CCC family! Her name is Missy, and, like all of our orphans, a number of sad events precipitated her arrival at the CCC.
Poachers killed Missy’s mother for bushmeat, and took Missy to a town in Liberia to be sold as a pet. An expatriate found her and contacted the CCC, because there are no sanctuaries or facilities in Liberia that care for orphan chimpanzees.
Missy arrived at the CCC at the end of April and immediately began a strict quarantine with two volunteers, who are serving as her substitute mothers. She attached to them very quickly, and their support will be critical for her emotional and psychological development over the next few months.
Her personality has started to shine through over the past few weeks. She enjoys playing in the trees, learning how to fall (a very important process for a baby chimpanzee), and being tickled by her substitute mothers – like all babies, she is very ticklish and asks to be tickled by putting the volunteers’ hands on her. She is also learning what it is like to live in the bush: when she first arrived, she did not want to leave her bed unless she was being carried, and since then we have noticed that she curls her toes when she walks – she hasn’t gotten used to the feel of the dirt, leaves, and twigs on her feet yet! She is also discovering wild fruits for the first time, and is particularly fond of a few of them.
Missy doesn’t have contact with the other chimps yet, but she can hear them and is receptive to their calls, which bodes well for her future integration.