BY MAMBE NJIKOFORE MANDE
A baby chimpanzee between the ages of one – two years has been rescued by the Bakossi National Park conservators and brought to the Limbe Wildlife Center earlier this month.
According to the Conservator of the Bakossi National Park, Dr. Eta Agbor Hans, this baby chimp was in the keeping of an individual from one of the villages which share boundary with the park. He gathered all necessary information from his sources before going down to the almost inaccessible village to talk the people into letting the park take the baby Chimp for proper care and for the safety of the people.
“It is a great opportunity to be here this moment on a day when we are celebrating the rescue of a protected species, the Chimpanzee. I got information that there is a baby chimpanzee being kept by an individual very close to the Bakossi National Park. I had to intensify communication with that community,” he explained.
“In the collaborative management approach that we use for the management of the Bakossi National Park which is being instituted by the program for the sustainable management of natural resources for the southwest, with the support of the Ministry of forestry and wildlife. The population had that trust in us. We met the chief and community members and with a lot of discussion, we were able to rescue that animal. Presently, it is in quarantine,” Dr. Eta finished.
The Bakossi National Park delegation and the young Chimpanzee were received by the conservator of the Limbe wildlife Center, and the Regional Delegate of forestry, Mme Delphine Ikome.
According to the conservator at the Limbe Wildlife center, Mr Mbeleng Arin Serge “We were contacted by the conservator and I let him know we were ready to receive this baby Chimpanzee.” He went on to say that during quarantine, they will run checkups in case the baby chimp has any diseases, they will act as her parents by feeding her day and night since she is very young, and from at one point bring in other young female Chimps to socialize with.
On her part, the regional delegate of forestry and wildlife, Mme Ikome Delphine stated, “The program for sustainable management of natural resources and the government through MinFOF are doing a lot to ensure the protection of wildlife species in the protected areas within the Southwest region.”
“This animal was rescued from an individual who according to the law is not allowed to keep animals. There is a fine/penalty which will be meted to individuals who will kill or collect an animal for commercial purpose or for trophies without authorisation.” She warned.
The baby Chimp which was rescued on Saturday, April 2, 2022 and received in Limbe on Sunday, April 3, 2022 has to be quarantined at the Limbe Wildlife Center for at least three months. The Chimpanzee falls under category-A of protected species in Cameroon.
Bakossi National Park was created from the Bakossi Forest Reserve by Prime Ministerial Decree No 2007/1459/PM of 28 November 2007 with a surface area of 29,230 hectares. The park Saddles two subdivisions:- Bangem and Tombel in the Kupe Muanenguba division, Southwest region of Cameroon. Thirty-four villages share a direct boundary with the park of which 4 of them are found inside the park. It is the only national park in Cameroon Highland Forest region.