Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Sanctuary Staff Surprised To Find Gorilla Gently Cradling Tiny Primate.

Shadowing The Gorilla

Shadowing The Gorilla

Twycross Zoo

The staff was careful not to alert the gorilla as they stealthily followed it. The animal was behaving oddly, and they weren’t sure what he’d do if he realized they were shadowing him. They knew he was holding something in his hands, but the grass wouldn’t let them see what it was. Then it all became clear, and the staff suddenly realized what it was. Until now, the events that transpired were practically unheard of.

The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

Gerry Ellis/Apes Like Us

Every day was a unique and exciting experience at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary in Cameroon. Rescued primates like gorillas, monkeys, and chimpanzees relied on the sanctuary as a rehabilitation center and a home. Over 300 primates roam through this refuge, which is run by the UK-based charity, Ape Action Africa. The organization was founded due to the horrible circumstances that wildlife faced in the African continent.

The Growing Crisis

In 1996, Ape Action Africa came into existence but was originally called the Cameroon Wildlife Fund. Its founders wanted to improve the lives of primates living at the Mvog-Betsi Zoo in Yaoundé. After operating for 12 years, they discovered that they had a greater mission. As if shrinking habitats weren’t bad enough, primates in Cameroon also faced danger from illegal bushmeat and pet trades. So, the organization decided to grow.

Helping The Orphaned

Helping The Orphaned

Gerry Ellis/Apes Like Us

In 2009, CWAF, which was later known as Ape Action Africa, began rescuing primates, who were orphaned. They not only provided rehabilitation services, but they gave them an environment that was safe. And that’s how the sanctuary met Bobo, a silverback gorilla. Bobo’s mother was captured by poachers when he was 2 years old. He was reclusive and shy at first. But 22 years later, he’s bigger, stronger, and a total boss.

Gentle Leader

Gentle Leader

Ape Action Africa

A group of Western lowland gorillas live at the sanctuary with Bobo. But, Bobo is both the leader and the dominant male of his group. Given that he’s 350 pounds, other gorillas would think twice before challenging his authority. Although he’s huge, he’s very kind. In fact, the sanctuary’s staff claim that he’s “a fair and gentle leader who is well respected by the group." But his fairness has led some of the males in his group to assume he’s weak.

Page 1 of 3