From Captivity to Carefree!
Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue (SYCR) recently hosted its third annual fundraiser at the Explorers Club in New York City. One way that friends, allies, and advocates could support the organization was to "adopt" a chimpanzee named Foe. While he is happy now, his life was a hard one, starting at a very young age.
Foe (pronounced Fō ee) was under a year old when he was purchased from the poacher who killed his mother. Initially, the baby walked freely on the property, but when Foe became more active and mischievous, he was forced into a small cage. At an emotionally frail age, when his mother’s nurturing was crucial, when his muscles and bones needed activity to develop properly, he lived in debilitating confinement without love or proper nutrition.
A year later in 2003, a Dutch visitor working with the Catholic church used her church affiliation to persuade the man to release the orphan to her. Having visited SYCR, she knew Foe would be safe there. Today, SYCR requires law enforcement to be involved with surrenders, to track poachers and dealers and pursue arrests. Unfortunately, years ago the network and resources were unavailable.
Foe arrived thin, small, and uncoordinated. He manifested emotional trauma in painful self-injurious behaviors. But with love and tender care from the staff, Foe stopped hurting himself and became more confident.
Today, Foe is a handsome, strong adult with a sweet temperament. Historically, he has not been dominant in his group, but lately he is asserting himself and intervening in conflicts to protect the females. Foe’s group of six lives in an enclosure complex that includes 3.5 acres of natural forest habitat.
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