Baby primates have a tough life in the wild, especially when their mothers and families are killed for bushmeat. For many people, eating monkey meat sounds very weird, but poachers in Africa kill over 9,000 primates for their meat and trade them on the black market.
After her mother got killed, Missa the little baboon was all alone, living with the poacher and being raised for her meat. Fortunately, the park rangers in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo found Missa and rescued her from the poacher.
But Missa needed a mom… and she would soon find one!
20. A Confusing Moment
Poor Missa didn’t understand why her mother was no longer by her side. She was traumatized and confused. You won’t believe how fate turned in her favor! A rescue team was on its way…
19. They’re Like Human Babies
Baby baboons are like human babies. They need to be held and receive constant nourishment and care from their mother to survive in the wild. Infant baboons cannot walk, but they will cling to their mothers.
18. Living With the Poacher
One day, Missa had nobody to cling to. She was found living with the man that killed her mother. Itsaso Vélez del Burgo Guinea is the technical director of Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro (CRPL) and he knew Missa’s story from the beginning…
17. Getting Help
‘To our understanding her mother was killed for bushmeat and she was probably going to be raised and used for bushmeat herself,’ explained Itsaso. On the Lwiro Primates Facebook page, they announced Missa’s rescue.
16. Welcome, Missa!
‘FIRST RESCUE OF 2017!’ wrote the Facebook post. They also mentioned that the rangers took hold of Missa and the poacher ‘has been arrested and a case has been opened against him. Welcome, Missa!’
15. She Couldn’t Live On Her Own
Now that Missa was rescued, she needed a place to grow up. She couldn’t live on her own or in the wilderness, so the park rangers took her to Lwiro Primates. The organization exists to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned primates like Missa.
14. Getting to Lwiro Primates
But getting to the rescue center was not easy. She needed transport to get there, but with a little effort and a dedicated team, a pilot from the national park took her to the CRPL. She was very lucky…
13. A Lucky Baboon
It was merely a lucky coincidence. A tourist was visiting the rescue center when Missa needed the transportation, so she got on the same helicopter. She would soon meet a very special baboon!
12. The Poor Baby Was Traumatized
After getting to the rescue center, the staff saw that the poor baby baboon was traumatized. Losing her mom took a toll on her, and rescuers had to do something to stabilize Missa. And they found the right baboon. They prepared them both for the first interaction.
11. Picking the Right Baboon
The staff at Lwiro knew best which baboons were better for introducing new members. And they knew that this special baboon will care for Missa as her own baby. You won’t believe what happened when they saw each other!
10. Past Traumas
Unfortunately, Missa’s case was common among the primates at Lwiro rescue. Most of them went through traumatizing moments, and this old baboon called Grace was one of them. She lived in a cage for most of her life…
9. A Torture
Living in a small cage is a torture for any wild animal that loves to wander in the forests. Baboons are very social primates and Grace didn’t have the chance to spend her life with another one of her kind.
8. Healing the Wounds
Making Missa and Grace meet would end up the best idea ever, believed the rescuers. Both baboons needed to heal and it was rewarding when they saw the baboons hugging each other!
7. An Instantaneous Bond
When Missa saw Grace, she rushed to her new adoptive mother and immediately hugged her. Grace was more than happy to accept the baby and the staff at the Lwiro rescue were in tears…
6. A Mom Figure
When Missa saw a baboon that reminded her of her mom, and Grace hugged her back, everyone realized they’ve made a perfect match. This is what Itsaso said about the mother and adopted daughter.
5. United in Pain, Healing Together
“Two dramatic and sad lives are now united,” Itsaso said. We’re so glad that these baboons are now living their lives happily and they can finally go forward, with no worry about getting separated.
4. Smitten With her Baby
A few weeks after being together, on their Facebook page, Lwiro Primates were happy to share a few photos of Grace and Missa. The adoptive mother was smitten with her new daughter!
3. The Bushmeat Crisis in Africa
Each life is worth saving, thinks Lwiro Primates. And with a lot of work and help from the rangers and officials that confiscate orphaned primates, they struggle to save as many as they can. They take care of many primates!
2. Eleven Different Species Living With Other Animals
‘CRPL takes care of 81 chimpanzees and 102 monkeys of 11 different species, together with parrots, turtles and a porcupine’, wrote their description on their website. The staff takes care of them.
1. Victims of Poaching and Pet Trade
The animals they keep at the rescue center have all ‘been victims of poaching and pet trade.’ Unfortunately, they also said that ‘the numbers of animals are continuously increasing…’
We hope that more people are aware of this situation and together with organizations, we’ll see an end to poaching and pet trading.