Humane Society International Celebrates World Chimpanzee Day; Calls for Protection of Endangered Animals in Liberia

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Monrovia – Humane Society International (HSI) joins the rest of the world on July 15, 2019, to celebrates World Chimpanzee Day, a day intended to raise awareness about the importance to protect endangered animals worldwide.

 July 14, recognized as World Chimpanzee Day, marks the anniversary of the day Dr. Jane Goodall first arrived in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, in 1960 to begin her groundbreaking research on wild chimpanzee behavior. 

Nearly 60 years later, Dr. Goodall has not only reshaped the way the world sees chimpanzees and other animals, but she also remains a leading advocate for chimpanzee conservation throughout Africa. 

The goals of World Chimpanzee Day are to celebrate our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, to raise awareness about the conservation threats they face in the wild, and to promote their proper care in captivity. 

HSI has a direct connection to chimpanzees through its sanctuary project, Second Chance Chimpanzee Refuge Liberia (SCCRL), where more than 60 chimpanzees formerly used in biomedical research are living a peaceful retirement with care provided 365 days a year. 

In 2015, HSI stepped in to take over direct care of the chimpanzees after learning they had been left on the Marshall Islands in Margibi County without food or freshwater.

 HSI works around the globe to promote the human-animal bond, protect street animals, support farm animal welfare, stop wildlife abuse, eliminate painful animal testing, respond to natural disasters and confront cruelty to animals in all its forms. 

In Liberia, HSI has partnered with numerous stakeholders, including the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Agriculture, and others to promote the care, welfare, and conservation of wild and companion animals in Liberia. 

In honor of World Chimpanzee Day this year, HSI held a community celebration at the Charlesville Town Hall in Margibi County during which Members of the community had an opportunity to learn about the former research chimpanzees living at Second Chance Chimpanzee Refuge Liberia, the threats that wild chimpanzees face, and the importance of protecting and preserving this unique and treasured species. 

As part of this year celebration, HSI will also hold a panel discussion on Monday, July 15 to be on both radio and television at 10:00 AM on the Renaissance Communication Inc. 

The panel discussion will highlight the significance of World Chimpanzee Day for the critically endangered West African chimpanzee, a species that faces threats from the illegal bush meat and pet trades, habitat loss, and disease.

Liberia has often been described as one of the “last strongholds” for the species due to the large, pristine, and un-fragmented forests in the country; however, the bushmeat and pet trades are an increasing threat.

The panel participants will discuss the current wildlife laws in Liberia and the vital role of the Forest Development Authority and law enforcement in increasing the protection of chimpanzees and their habitats.

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