header image

Little glimmers of hope in Salone by Prof. Dan Rohlf

Posted by: | May 18, 2014 Comments Off on Little glimmers of hope in Salone by Prof. Dan Rohlf |

We’ve seen many examples of environmental degradation on our travels in Sierra Leone. Hills denuded of forest cover. Land itself stripped away near major rivers by diamond mining, leaving pits filled with muddy water and hills of dirt and sifted gravel supporting nothing but stands of invasive bamboo. Burgeoning – and highly polluted – cities.

But there are few good things, too.  We visited the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where 98 chimps rescued from poachers, illegal traders, and even the bushmeat market receive medical care and live in comfort in large, forested enclosures.

When my wife was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1885, perhaps 20,000 chimpanzees lived in Sierra Leone. Today three quarters of that population is gone as a result of habitat destruction and direct human exploitation; perhaps 5,000 individuals still exist in isolated forest fragments and at the edges of farms and villages. A few of the fortunate refugees from this precipitous decline end up at Tacugama, where they can enjoy a semblance of their life in the wild.

Pages: 1 2

under: General, International

Comments are closed.