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Hungry Chimps seize six Islands, brutalize woman, 48- Tourist group raises concern

Jos Garneo Cephas (HTSD-LiberiaTourism Network)
Mary Walker , the victimized by the hungry chimps appealing for medical treatment
Mary Walker , the victimized by the hungry chimps appealing for medical treatment

( 21, 2015)- What should have been the latest wild life discoverage for tourists attraction on six islands in Liberia has turned into a harmful Colony of chimpanzees brutalizing woman, 48, and several others over food chase for survival.

Mary Walker, 48 is one of several to come under attack and victimized at the hands of ten chimpanzees while they were in search of kiss-meats on  March 5, 2014 on one of the islands near Zangar Town, Charlesville, Lower Margibi County, near Monrovia-Liberia.

“We were the five women and two boys but one of them managed to escape and the other was helping to rescue me from the chimpanzees but run away and jumped into the water, leaving me at the hands of the chimpanzees”.

Mary Walker said the islands have served throughout the years as a place for hunting, fishing and kiss meat picking for livelihood.

These once friendly animals were been fed once a day with vegetable by their Liberians caretaker but out of hunger and desperation the chimpanzees broke their bounds in search of food to harmfully seize the six islands.

The chimpanzees were once contained for research into hepatitis infections in Liberia by an American research group, the New York Blood Center who   purchased the more than 500 chimps for that purpose. 

“The Baboons(chimps)jumped between us when we left the canoe, and got into the mangro swamp and picking kiss meat but I did not hear the sound of the Baboon sooner, this is how my friends ran in the river towards the canoe but I can’t swamp this is how the Baboon caught me”.

Mary Walker said: “You can see my leg, it bit me and sliced my fresh and tore the vine at the back of my leg. They were plenty on me some were slapping and blowing me, when one of them bit my breast”.

According to Mary, her escape was miraculous. “You know I can’t fight the animals and I could not run because the mud held me at kneels-level but God gave me an idea to pick the mud throw it in their faces this is how one of the boys returned with the canoe to rescue my helpless body”.

She displaced he condition saying, see my foot is getting rotten, since  the attacked up to now I am  in pain all over my body, she  mentioned.

Madam Walker lives in Jar Town, District Number One, Grand Bassa County where she is seeking traditional treatment by an herbalist.

Jar Town is more than two hour drive distance by motorcycle from the islands, the scene of the accident.
The health condition of Mary is worsening by the day as she has no money to attend hospital but she is appealing to government and humanitarian organizations to come to her aid.

Investigation conducted by Heartbeat Tourism for Sustainable Development (HTSD), Liberia a national tour and tourism organization, has observed that the Islands are ideally located to boost Liberia tourism and is useful also for historical students’  and public research purposes.

What a wildlife scene to boost and attract  local and international tourists in Liberia

Journalists for the Protection of Nature (JPN) as well as HTSD, Liberia are also in collaboration with Conservation International, Liberia in championing the protection of the chimps.

Until then the Liberian Government is yet to take an action, while the    islands remained vulnerable to human habitat or a place to make living.

Conservation International, Liberia first investigated the situation of the abandonment of the chimps and spoke on their welfare, whiles other Liberian advocates organizations in nature and tourism, decried the situation.

New York Blood Center once had a partnership with the government of Liberia through the Liberia Institute for Bio Medical Research in 1975 to research with about 500 chimpanzees.

Ten years after the research project ended, the center cut off its promised of funding, leaving the chimp colony to rely on donations from elsewhere.

After 40 years of operation, the research was then abandoned with about 66 living chimps, until up to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia the chimps some died and had reduced to 55, without funding for feeding; they became desperate within their man made habitat.

In their hunger, the chimps became harmful and burst through their man made habitat to take over the six islands.   

The abandonment story was published by a local Liberian Journalist before the chimps the harmful chimps’ recent attack on their victims on the Charlesville Islands.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has assumed the $30,000 per month cost of care, according to The New York Times. HSUS and conservation groups outside Liberia have started an online fundraising drive to support the chimps.-

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