The chimp, named Wounda, was on the brink of death. She was nourished back to health over many years and was finally ready to be released into the wild
We all know about the amazing work Jane Goodall has done for chimpanzees. She helped us understand the primates better and showed how we are more alike than we are different. It is easy to see the compassion and love Goodall has for these animals. Being much more in tune with their instincts, it is easy for chimps to feel this warmth they receive from Goodall as well. Over the years we have witnessed the amazing things this English woman has done in the field of the study of chimpanzees in the wild. As well as the rescue and rehabilitation of vulnerable chimps.
Among the many victims that came into the care of the Jane Goodall Institute in the Republic of Congo, was Wounda. Her name means "close to death" and that was how she came to the institute after being stolen from her home and family. Wounda was captured by poachers who were in the business of illegal bushmeat trade. Even as she was on the brink of death, the staff at JGI’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center were set to treat and nourish her back to health even when the possibility looked slim. An update on the Jane Goodall website noted, "Her recovery was unbelievable, and even included what is thought to be the first chimp to chimp blood transfusion in Africa."
It took years of care and dedication from the staff at the rehabilitation center to nurse Wounda back to health. She was suffering from a number of illnesses and was losing weight fast. Keeping her alive seemed like a race against time. The Daily Mail reported that each morning, Wounda would get a liter of milk. The caregivers at the center saw that she was recovering and making good progress. One day, she was finally doing well and strong enough to be released into the outdoors once again. To live her life free from any human interference.
Wounda was taken in a crate and driven to her new home. Dr. Rebeca Atencia, the head of the Jane Goodall Institute-Congo, kept a careful eye on Wounda inside her box. The sanctuary site was on Tchindzoulou Island in the nearby Kouilou River, the country’s second-biggest river after the enormous Congo. As the door of the crate was opened, Wounda scurried around but remained close to her human caregivers. She takes in her surroundings and comes to the understanding that she is back home. Then, in a heartwarming moment, Wounda hugged Goodall. This touching moment between a human and a chimpanzee was captured on camera. You can watch that moving scene here:
Wounda then cautiously wandered into her new life on Tchindzoulou Island and made herself feel at home by munching on some fresh green grass. Goodall watched her, with clear delight on her face. The website shared an update about Wounda from back in the wild. She was able to quickly adapt to her new forest home and also formed deep bonds with groups of other rescued chimps. She even went on to become an alpha female among the chimpanzees. Wounda also became a loving mother to an infant named Hope. The post stated, "It was unclear if Wounda would live. Now, she’s brought new life into the world and is a beloved chimpanzee in this sanctuary forest." Thanks to the efforts of the staff at the center, Wounda gets a second chance at life. You can support the institute by donating here.