Through Humane Society International, we've supported and worked with animal protection organizations in the region over the years, and we're well aware of their vital contributions to animals in need. These groups have been seriously affected by Ebola's terrible toll on both the human and animal populations in the zone of impact. The crisis has disrupted their normal operations and supply chains, as well as placed many animal care workers at personal risk. Notwithstanding, they are doing their best to carry out needed relief and direct care work.
Earlier this week, Humane Society International made grants to two groups working to help animals in Sierra Leone. One of them, Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary outside Freetown, Sierra Leone, has been a vital bulwark against the many threats to wild chimpanzees in that nation, including deforestation, slash-and-burn agriculture, and the illicit pet trade, all of which continue to threaten their survival. TCS has also provided necessary refuge and care to nearly 100 orphaned, abandoned and mistreated chimpanzees in need. Sierra Leone, once a major exporter of chimpanzees, mostly for research, is now home to an outstanding sanctuary that is actively working in their defense. Sierra Leone and Guinea share an important border zone that provides crucial habitat for chimpanzees, and a few years ago, HSI worked with the Jane Goodall Institute on a successful project aimed at securing greater protection for them. TCS's Bala Amarasekaran and his colleagues are heroes to all of us at The HSUS and HSI.