4 min read

Baby Chimp Who Was Too Scared To Be Touched Gets Kisses From His New Friend

He has the family he's always wanted now.

When Farah — a 10-month-old chimp who was confiscated from the man who had killed his mother — arrived at a sanctuary in Cameroon, he had no reason to trust anyone.

But since that day in September, Farah has come so far. 

Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

The people at Mefou Primate Sanctuary, which is run by Ape Action Africa, were patient with the traumatized baby. After all, he'd witnessed the death of his mom and then had been chained up in his captor's house. At a time when his mind and body were growing and developing, Farah hadn't been around any other chimps to help him socialize. And his only experiences with humans were terrible. 

Rescued baby chimp in Cameroon
Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

Caretakers gave Farah a blanket so he could make his own little nest. This helped him feel more at home. And then they offered him food. Soon enough, people could get close enough to bottle-feed little Farah — and they even managed to put their arms around him.

Rescued baby chimp in Africa
Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

The next challenge was getting Farah reacquainted with his true nature. It was time for Farah to meet the other rescued chimps at the sanctuary, a key step for primates of all kinds, who are extremely social animals.

Luckily, Farah — the chimp who wouldn't let anyone touch him at first — was very eager to begin making friends.

Rescuers helped show Farah the very important habit of grooming, which helps apes build trusting relationships and relieve stress.

Chimps kiss at sanctuary
Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

The other chimps in Farah's new little group helped him feel welcome by sharing food with him and giving him hugs and kisses.

Rescued baby chimps hug at Africa sanctuary
Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

Farah learned by example — and soon couldn't get enough hugs! He is proving himself to be an extremely affectionate and playful chimp, even despite his dark, isolated past.

Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

His three new friends, Lomié, Paula and Jenny, are helping Farah understand how enjoyable life can be.

Ian Bickerstaff/Ape Action Africa

Together, the little group is getting stronger in the safety of the sanctuary. Given the threats to these wild apes because of hunting, habitat loss and the illegal pet trade, that's good news for chimpanzees everywhere. 

To help Ape Action Africa give these chimps all the fresh pineapple they want, you can make a donation.