Lemba and a friend
Meet Lemba, A Very Special Chimpanzee
Lemba’s legs don’t work anymore because of the effects of polio, a disease that she is being treated for at Tchimpounga. Lemba is growing rapidly and will be very large and heavy in a few months, making it even more difficult for her to get around. For this reason, Tchimpounga caregivers are getting Lemba used to being carried in a wheelbarrow. Lemba is also being trained to act as a future surrogate mother for infant chimpanzees at the sanctuary.
Lemba can be mischievous, and likes to play with her caregiver's shoes. The caregivers at Tchimpounga are very patient and allow the small chimpanzee to nip, hit, and hide their sandals. Occasionally, Lemba puts her hands inside her caregivers' shoes as if they were gloves and slides around on the grass in the sanctuary garden!
Lemba is an amazing chimpanzee. Despite her physical limitations, Lemba performs exercises every day during the games Tchimpounga's caregivers have created for her. The games help restore her agility and arm strength. We can learn so much from Lemba!
Lemba playing with some shoes
Lemba doing her exercises