ERuDeF Biologists Encounter 10 Chimpanzees in Tofala Forest

7:30 PM, February 4, 2014, its dinner time. A team of Biologists from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) gather to have a meal in the forest before going to sleep. Before they could do that, they were interrupted by Chimpanzees vocalizing just close to their camp site. It was difficult to see the chimps because it was already dark. Yet the team did not give up especially as the vocalizations continued. Excited and anxious, the team accompanied by Sebastian Linnarz, a PhD student from the University of Bonn, Germany on internship with the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non Profit Studies (EIBiNs) set out to meet with the human cousins.

The team took along their touch light, machetes and other materials but due to the difficult terrain and the darkness, it took them more time to reach to where the chimps where sleeping.

When the team got to where the chimpanzees were sleeping, they put on their touch lights to avoid fall off but this caused panic in the group of chimps. Behold! 10 chimpanzees started screaming, urinating on them and running in all directions.

One of the chimpanzees in total confusion, started going up and down a tree without branches but finally chose to stay up the tree. Sebastien who was seeing a Chimpanzee in the wild for the first time could not hide his excitement “It is such an amazing experience for me coming face to face with this human cousin in its natural habitat. I will carry this experience all my life’

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi & Asoh Bedwin

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