Save Sarah and Gaura

Chimpanzees are like humans: they need care, love and support. Image courtesy IFAW.

Chimpanzees are like humans: they need care, love and support. Image courtesy IFAW.

This is a reedited letter that I have received from IFAW, please, read it and if you can help. Thanks in advance:

When Gaura arrived at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, he was so frail that caregivers dressed him in pajamas each night to keep him warm. The tiny chimp weighed a little over 2.5 kilograms and needed lots of hands-on care.

And Sarah was just 8 months old when she was confiscated from someone who was offering her for sale as a pet at a mining site.

The 90 chimps at the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone have survived hunters, habitat loss and people who wanted to keep them as pets or for entertainment. Many of them are orphans.

But now Sarah, Gaura and the other chimps face a new threat – the Ebola epidemic.

While the staff and chimps are safe, the Ebola health crisis in Western Africa has had a major financial impact on the Tacugama Sanctuary – and threatens the future of Sarah and Gaura.

The neighbouring communities have been hit hard by the Ebola epidemic.

A project manager at the sanctuary asked IFAW for help. “From the sanctuary office, I can hear the siren of the Ebola ambulance as it is responding to yet another suspected case of Ebola,” she said.

Much of the sanctuary’s income comes from visitors to the sanctuary. These tourists have completely vanished within the last few months, due to the fear of Ebola.

The sanctuary has lost about half of its regular income but still wants to maintain a high standard of care for the chimps, with plenty of good quality food and a full staff of qualified caretakers.

Because of travel restrictions, the price of food for the chimps has skyrocketed. The sanctuary is in urgent need of help to pay the bills.

You can help give Sarah, Gaura and other vulnerable chimps the food and care they need.

The sanctuary was founded in 1995 as a home for Western chimpanzees, an endangered subspecies. Each year more orphan chimpanzees arrive at the sanctuary.

Even though the hunting and trading of chimpanzees is illegal in Sierra Leone, chimps continue to be hunted for the bushmeat trade. And babies are captured for the entertainment and pet trades.

The animals thrive at the Tacugama Sanctuary. A lively young chimp, Sarah knows what she wants and has a strong and caring personality. Gaura has grown into a loving and mischievous infant with close friends.

But now the future of these innocent animals is at risk.

I want to give you my heartfelt thanks because you’ve spoken up for animals in the past. You truly made a difference for some of the planet’s most helpless and threatened animals.

Because I know how much you love animals, I wanted to let you know about this special chance to help in a different way, by giving food and care to some chimps in urgent need. Can you help feed Sarah and Gaura?
• $38 will pay for the food and care for one chimp for one week.
• $55 will pay for the food and care for a chimp for 10 days.
• $115 will give one chimp all the food and care it needs for three weeks.
Even after the Ebola outbreak has been contained, it will be many months before visitors return to Sierra Leone and help to generate a sustainable income for the sanctuary.

You can help feed and care for these chimps. Click here.