A very cute video of an orphaned chimpanzee – Mussa – snuggling the pilot who rescued him is making headlines around the world… and increasing awareness about the devastating poaching of yet another endangered species.
The Belgian anti-poaching pilot, Anthony Caere, who works for Virunga National Park, said it was great teamwork between the Park and Lwiro Primates, a sanctuary for orphans like Mussa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to save this baby chimp “out of the hands of poachers”.
Anthony flew baby Mussa to his new home at Lwiro Primates… and it is the tender interaction between the chimp and Anthony that has the world swooning!
However, Anthony points out: “This looks cute but is actually a sad story. He should be with his mum… But happy we could give him a new good home! Thanks to the whole team! This is conservation!”
In response to people who’ve asked Anthony why he didn’t put 3-year-old Mussa in a cage during the flight, he wrote on Facebook: “A baby needs hugs and compassion instead of being locked up in a cage during a stressful flight…”
The little chimp had been rescued from Beni village in North Kivu, after a photo went viral on WhatsApp. It was discovered that Mussa was being held by a man in the village, along with other protected reptiles. Conservationists aren’t certain if the man was going to sell Mussa or keep him as a pet.
Lwiro Primates have revealed that it’s impossible for poachers to steal a baby without killing its mom (because, just like humans, chimp moms will do anything to protect their babies)…
“Unfortunately his family is dead. We do not know how many, maybe only the mum, but most likely several members of his family were killed,” said Lwiro in a comment on Facebook.
According to Lwiro, baby chimps are being illegally trafficked by poachers to China and the Middle East where they are sold for thousands of dollars.
Many of the video’s viewers around the world have also fallen for Anthony, nicknaming him #HotPilot. The 36-year-old is known in Belgium for appearing in a documentary ‘Flying Doctors’, and also made headlines back home when his plane crashed in the Virunga National Park last April. He suffered severe injuries but has recovered to continue saving orphans and fighting poachers.
Watch orphaned baby chimp snuggle pilot during rescue flight
Great teamwork of @lwirocrpl and Virunga National Park to save this baby out of the hands of poachers. We flew baby Mussa to his new home at Lwiro Primates. This looks cute but is actually a sad story. He should be with his mum.. But happy we could give him a new good home! Thanks to the whole team! This is conservation! #virunga #virunganationalpark #savevirunga #stoppoaching #babychimp #chimp #chimpansee #lwiroprimates #conservation #flying #wildlifewarriors #congo #drc #rdc #thedodo #livetotellthestory @i7saso
If you cannot view the above video on your device, try either of the below:
💙🐵 Sound On: This made my night. A baby chimp being rescued from poachers in the Congo and being flown to safety. I watched it three times and felt less stressed. The pilot is so kind and gentle. His name is Anthony Caere and he is Belgian. pic.twitter.com/EDZEqN06rx
— Sarah ❀Ⓛⓞⓥⓔ❀ ☮ (@zbleumoon) March 6, 2018
People ask me why I didn’t put Mussa in a cage during the flight…A baby needs hugs and compassion instead of being…
Anthony saving another chimp in December: