“Threat to wildlife protection is a threat to environmental security which can ultimately affect us all.” This was according to Daniella Samura, Communication Officer, Tacugama Community Outreach Program, who said 2022 has been a milestone year for the Wildlife Protection Areas.
“We saw the launching of the Chimpanzee National Animal Awareness and Protection Campaign (CNAAPC) in May 2022. This campaign helped us to reach out to more Sierra Leonean people, and it was a platform for the people to know about the status of Chimpanzees in the country.” Daniella stated.
Daniella said despite the launch of the National Animal Campaign and their numerous community engagements, they continued to receive chimps at the sanctuary.
She said in 2022, they had a total of 9 chimp rescues, all of which were baby chimps, adding that the many rescues only indicate that a lot of other older chimps had been killed in order to capture the baby chimps. That, according to her, is why they often engage communities that are in close proximity to chimpanzee population in order to prevent these precious animals from extinction (disappear from the face of the earth).
The communication officer said: “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Chimpanzees are protected in Sierra Leone because they are our National Animal and are also similar to us humans. The Tacugama Community Outreach Program (TCOP) has been very instrumental in terms of keeping chimpanzees and other wildlife safe in their natural habitat.” Daniella stated.
She went on that the Western Area Peninsular National Park (WAPNP) functions as a habitat for many species of wildlife, including Western Chimpanzees, African Civets, Genets and several species of monkey, adding that there are 9 rangers who conduct daily morning and afternoon patrols in the Western Area.
Daniella Samura said during the patrols, they look out for signs of wildlife and human activity in the park and enter the information they gather in a special application called SMART.
She assured that they will continue with their different conservation projects and community outreach to ensure that they safeguard chimpanzees living in the wild.
“Let this statement be a constant reminder to all of us that threat to wildlife protection is a threat to environmental security which can ultimately affect us all.” Daniella concluded.