Home is where the hugs are.
The Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection had received a tip that a baby chimp was being kept illegally outside a national park in Liberia.
But little Leo, as rescuers called him, wasn’t easy to find.
“We first received a report he was at a bar, but he was no longer there when authorities investigated,” the rescue group’s founder, Jenny Desmond, told The Post. “We thought we’d lost him.”
A few weeks later, “a ‘different’ chimp surfaced, being hidden from sight in the same area.” From the photo the rescue group first received, they recognized that the chimp was in fact Leo.
“Like most of the orphans, Leo was slow to trust when he arrived,” Desmond said. There were rope burns on his skin and he was very timid — evidence that he’d been tied up and emotionally abused.
Rescuers brought Leo to the sanctuary, where he was initially kept on his own, to ease him into the new space.
But Leo wanted out of solitary. He slipped past his keepers and into a room of other orphaned chimps — and their ecstatic welcome has become a viral sensation.
“I mean, they each literally ran over and just fought over who got to hug him!” Desmond said this morning on “Good Morning America.”
“He was so fearful coming in, after all the trauma he had suffered … but that reception really sealed the deal for him and started him on a journey toward recovery.”
Source: Read Full Article