Stranded Chimp on Island Welcomes Rescuers With a Hug

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Courtesy The Dodo

Courtesy The Dodo

Despite being abandoned on an isolated island for almost his entire life, a chimpanzee welcomed visiting humans with open arms in a moment that was captured in a heartwarming image.

Ponso, an approximately 40-year-old chimp, was abandoned on an island off the coast of Africa 30 years ago after being used for medical testing. Over the course of his time there, his mate and their children all passed away, leaving Ponso isolated as the only member of his species there. In addition, the island had no natural source of food or fresh water, leaving the animal’s survival in the hands of kind locals from nearby islands who provided bananas and bread for him to find.

Ponso was recently visited by a group from the Chimpanzee Conservation Center organization, including director Estelle Raballand. Despite the torture human beings put him through in his life and his many years in isolation, he treated Raballand and her team with warmth, wrapping her in a loving embrace. The team went on to tend to any physical issues the animal had, much to his enjoyment.

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Courtesy The Dodo

Courtesy The Dodo

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and Ponso’s story is emblematic of many chimps who were abandoned by the New York Blood Center.

The organization has been responsible for stranding animals on various isolated islands after years of scientific testing and experimentation on them. The NYBC initially kept most of the animals fed, though some like Ponso fell through the cracks. That ended last year when the organization announced that they were going to cut off sending supplies to the chimpanzees, essentially leaving them to starve to death without human intervention, such as the kind Ponso received.

The animal conservation community reacted in horror to NYBC’s actions, with Jane Goodall calling them “shocking and embarrassing.” Numerous organizations have taken on the responsibility of providing the chimps with food and water, while at the same time attempting to force the NYBC to take responsibility for the animals well-being.

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