Sierra Leone-Environment-Animal Conservation

Sierra Leone warns of possible extinction of Chimps

APA-Freetown (Sierra Leone)

The management of Sierra Leone’s only Chimpanzee sanctuary has raised concern over the safety of the animals in the face of rapid deforestation in and around the Freetown peninsula.

The Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary (TCS) located at Regent in the west end of Freetown, said the rate at which orphaned Chimpanzees are been taken to the sanctuary is alarming and called for urgent action.

The call comes less than seven months after the government declared Chimpanzee as the National Aminal in an effort to protect it from imminent extinction. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security also declared the TCS as the number one eco-tourism destination in the country.

But conservationist, Bala Amarasekaran, Founder and Director of TCS, said the declarations have not been marched with action by the government.

IN a joint statement he issued with the Ministry of Forestry and other government agencies responsible for protecting the environment, the TSC head said within 18 months they have received 16 orphaned chimps.

This, he noted, means that the authorities are not enforcing environmental laws which is causing people to cut the forest and leaving the animals vulnerable. Amarasekaran said some of the animals
are brought to the sanctuary badly wounded or malnourished, noting that for every chimp that is brought to the sanctuary, about eight others are killed in the wild.

The statement warned that it is forbidden to own, kill or eat the animals and urged Sierra Leoneans to serve as ambassadors in the enforcement of the 1972 Wildlife Conservation Act.


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