Our Neighbor Ape organization rescued infant Fongoli chimpanzee Toto after his mother died of snakebite & no other group members found him. Toto was 2 months old at the time & wouldn't have been able to survive on his own. He must be cared for until he is at least 2 years of age, & we will then find the best option for him.
Infant chimpanzees depend on their mothers for care (feeding and carrying, in particular) for up to 5 years, and infants less then 2 years of age will likely perish if they are orphaned. We rescued an infant from the Fongoli savanna chimpanzee study group after his mother was found dead of a snakebite, and no other group members found him. The likelihood that a lactating female in his group would have adopted Toto in addition to her own infant would have been unlikely as well.
Given the endangered status of chimpanzees today saving the life of even one individual is deemed a worthy objective. The proposed project will ensure that infant Toto will have good care, which is vital to the physical & psychological well-being of infant apes especially. Toto's care includes not only food & materials like diapers, but he must have caregivers with him 24 hours a day to act as surrogate mothers. Infant chimps are never without a caregiver, which is vital to their development.
Part of our goal in the Neighbor Ape organization is to educate people on the importance of chimpanzees as a species and as a national treasure to the country of Senegal. Providing infant Toto with the best possible care also means he will have the best chance at a happy, healthy life. The local human community views Toto's rescue as indicative of showing compassion for animals that are so closely related to us, and it serves as an example of the value we give to this amazing species.
Updates on the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project
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