COVID-19: Urgent Message from Congo Chimps

Posted in 15/05/2020

Olga and Omblin (PASA)

From PASA – Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance

We just received an urgent message from HELP Congo, a PASA member in the Republic of Congo. COVID has been devastating to their sanctuary, and they’re very worried about being able to care for their rescued chimps.

There’s no time to waste.

Olga was one of the first chimps to be saved by HELP Congo in 1989. She was only a baby when her whole family was killed by wildlife traffickers. The HELP Congo team still remembers the vicious wounds on her body from the poacher’s machetes. Since arriving at HELP all those years ago, Olga has thrived. In January, she gave birth to an adorable baby boy named Omblin.

While both mother and baby are doing very well, the HELP team is growing more and more anxious about the chimps’ continued safety. Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Africa; if it gets into the sanctuary, the virus could easily kill Olga and Omblin.

HELP Congo needs protective gear and disinfectants to keep the chimps and their dedicated caregivers safe. But shortages of supplies and skyrocketing prices have made it hard to purchase enough medical supplies. Even the price of food is rising. The staff told me they’re struggling just to get enough food for the chimps.

Furthermore, HELP’s revenue has been nearly slashed in half because volunteers and visitors can no longer come to the sanctuary.

At a time when their income is lowest, HELP Congo has to spend more than ever just to keep the chimps and local African staff safe during this pandemic.

Help chimps survive this crisis: