Author: Emily

Chimpanzees are out of the clutches of poachers

Chimpanzees are out of the clutches of poachers

Tears, apples and travel blankets: Rescued chimps leave troubled California refuge for new home

Chimps rescued from a national wildlife refuge in Northern California are out of the clutches of poachers—at least for now.

The six chimps were rescued on Dec. 1, four days after they vanished from the Santa Rosa National Wildlife Refuge. Two other chimps from the same group were rescued in January.

In early January, the group was found by a couple who were hiking the mountain trail when they saw a pair of chimps on a rocky ledge.

“They’re wild chimps, wild with their curiosity,” said Jennifer Rood, who runs the Santa Rosa Chimpanzee Project, which began working with the chimps last fall.

Rood was shocked the chimps were taken in the first place, and now she helps coordinate rescue ops with the Santa Rosa Chimpanzee Project and other organizations to help get chimps to non-poaching sanctuaries.

The Santa Rosa chimps are only a short hop away from Rood’s home in the southern San Francisco Bay Area, where her family lives on a lake.

“But, yes, I am very emotional about what they endured,” she said.

Rood said she has helped bring three chimps to new homes. One female that was found on the mountain in January is staying with Rood in the Bay Area since there’s not enough room for all of her into her apartment upstairs, but Rood said she would prefer to bring them to sanctuary since the chimps know people, and they’ve been socialized with other chimps since being rescued.

Rood said the chimps are “really close … to just chilling out and eating and resting. … They really get off on this.”

“With these chimps, they just have this love for humans—the way they look at you really shows that they like us and they’re very social,” she said. “They were very, very social, and I was able to feed them, play with them, play with them and play with them.”

“They were completely, totally socialized with one another and they had a lot of fun in their time

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