4 min read

Orphaned Chimp Has No Idea He's About To Meet His True Love

A baby chimp recently saved from poachers was suffering from such violent seizures that rescuers at one point thought he had died.

Sagesse suffered from seizures when he was rescued from poachers. | Facebook/Lwiro Primates

Sagesse, whose name means "wisdom," fell ill when he was kidnapped from his mom and shuffled from one place to another in the seedy underground world of illegal animal trafficking.

And Sagesse isn't alone in his experience. Famed primatologist Jane Goodall issued a warning that the illegal trafficking of baby apes in Central and West Africa is skyrocketing.

Luckily, Sagesse was found and helicoptered to safety by the United Nations, and earlier this month, Sagesse made a new home at the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"We were able to close a long and difficult case of rescuing baby chimpanzee Sagesse," Lwiro Primates wrote on Facebook, thanking the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP-UNEP) and others who played a key role in his rescue.

A veterinarian, Dr. Kuzito Kalule, took immediate medical action for the sick chimp, and by the time his helicopter landed, Sagesse was in good health. "Now it's time to become a chimp again!" the organization wrote.

Part of learning to be a chimp again was to meet new friends. But little did Sagesse know that the love of his life, Wenga, an orphaned chimp found alone and brought to Lwiro earlier this month, was just around the corner.

After a brief quarantine period, last week, Sagesse was deemed healthy enough to meet Wenga.

The moment the two orphans finally met was caught on camera.

"This must be one of the most heartbreaking moments we have seen in a long time," Lwiro wrote. "[B]aby Sagesse and Wenga came in at almost the same time. After their initial checks were clear, we decided to let them meet each other. Join us in that pure moment of comfort and love between baby chimpanzees."

When Sagesse and Wenga were put into the same enclosure, they immediately climbed toward each other.

The two chimps climb immediately toward each other. | Facebook/Lwiro Primates

Within one minute, they were embracing.

Sagesse and Wenga embrace each other as soon as they meet. | Facebook/Lwiro Primates

And they just didn't let go.

Then, Wenga started grooming Sagesse, a sign of care and affection that helps chimps relax.

Wenga grooms Sagesse. | Facebook/Lwiro Primates

Sagesse and Wenga have been inseparable ever since.

Watch the full video of the chimps meeting for the first time: