DHL Express delivers Chimpanzees to their new home in Liberia


DHL partnered with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP), providing logistics services to relocate four rescued chimpanzees from Guinea-Bissau to Liberia; in celebration of World Chimpanzee Day to raise awareness about the welfare, protection, and conservation of the global chimpanzee population.

DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) partnered with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection (LCRP) to safely transport four vulnerable chimpanzees from Guinea-Bissau to Liberia. With many years of DHL’s expertise in transporting wildlife, all four rescued chimpanzees were re-located to their new home last weekend, on Saturday July 9, just in time to celebrate World Chimpanzee Day on July 14th. The collaboration aims to raise awareness about the welfare, protection, and conservation of the global chimpanzee population, which is critically endangered.

“DHL’s experience in the transportation of wildlife is world-class, and we could not envision partnering with another logistics organization to ensure the safe passage of these vulnerable chimps. This initiative would not be possible if governments from Guinea-Bissau (Directorate General for Forests and Fauna), and Liberia (Forestry Development Authority), the Jane Goodall Institute, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), and the Born Free Foundation did not commit to working tirelessly together to ensure its success. Chimpanzees, a critically endangered species, are protected in both countries, and it is illegal to harm or keep them as pets”, said Jenny Desmond, Founder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection.

The Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP) was founded in 2016 to rescue chimpanzees who are victims of illegal bush meat and pet trades. One of the key purposes of LCRP is to ensure the conservation of wild chimpanzees in Liberia and globally and to make sure that wild chimpanzees are kept wild. The decision to relocate the four chimpanzees named Fifi, Tze, Simao, and Tita from Guinea-Bissau to Liberia was based on Guinea-Bissau’s Directorate-General for Forests and Fauna’s commitment to combating international wildlife trade (IWT).

The country has no sanctuary to safeguard the four chimpanzees, prompting negotiations with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection. Therefore, the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection partnered with the Governments of Guinea-Bissau and Liberia, several animal protection partners, and DHL Express SSA to ensure the safe passage, rehabilitation, and reintegration of the chimpanzees into a community in Liberia that is conducive for their survival.

Anthony Beckley, VP Operations DHL Express SSA, says: “We are really proud to support the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection on their mission to give four rescued chimpanzees a new home. With many years of experience in transporting wildlife, we have gained valuable knowledge in ensuring the specific needs of the ‘special cargo’. 

“Each wildlife mission we undertake has its unique requirements. That is why we always connect with our experts and specialists in order to guarantee that the animals arrive safe and in good health at their intended destinations. By supporting initiatives that are committed to wildlife, we can contribute to the protection of endangered species, habitats, and biodiversity.”

DHL’s undisputed African network led to Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection connecting with DHL to deliver the ‘special cargo’ and to provide the operational and logistical requirements to guarantee the success of this intricate African initiative. This historical project which included many months of planning is the first-time western chimpanzees have been able to be relocated within their home region, which is vital to preserving their unique culture and characteristics.

Western chimpanzees are now extinct in three, soon five of eleven native countries. The four chimpanzees were transported in an ATR72 LCD (Large Cargo Door) designed for large cargo shipments, which allows minimal impact for the on and off loading of the animals throughout the transportation journey. 

The aircraft was also modified to ensure first-class treatment throughout the 2hrs 20minutes flight from Osvaldo Vieira International Airport in Guinea-Bissau to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia. To further secure their safety, the chimpanzees were accompanied by veterinarian Jim Desmond, co-founder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection.

IMPORTANT NOTE: **Chimpanzees are not and should not be pets or forced to live with humans.** The chimpanzee orphans at LCRP's sanctuary in West Africa are victims of the bushmeat and illegal pet trade. Their mothers were tragically killed by poachers and require around the clock care. Thanks to the dedicated caregivers and staff, the orphans are being rehabilitated so that they will be able to thrive with others in a natural and safe environment when they’re older.

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