Sierra Leone Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Programme
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Little Boy

1990 - 2003


Little Boy


Little was rescued by Bala in 1993 when he was a tiny little chimp, hence his name.

An American peace corps volunteer had originally purchased the infant from a village and eventually handed him to a Sierra Leonean. Little and his new owner were seen frequenting the beach bars at nights and during daytime he was kept in a box on a main shopping street in Freetown.

Little lived at Bala’s until 1995 when he was moved to Tacugama along with Bruno's group of 7 other rescued chimps.

The civil war during 1997/1999 were difficult times for everyone. The chimps at Tacugama were no exception. They had to live through bombings in terror, nervousness and anxiety. Armed gangs frequently went through the sanctuary shooting and looting, and occasionally, shells exploded very close to camp.

The peace returned in 2000, and routine was restored in Tacugama, except for Little Boy. He continued to struggle with his own battle.

The shooting and bombing during the war left him mentally traumatised. Since then he began to rock back and forth, he stopped socializing with the other chimps, he pulled his hair to complete baldness and chewed his fingers up to the point we had to amputate part of them due to irreversible damage. Even his pals seemed to understand that Little had a problem and were patient with his unusual behaviour.

In spite of constant care and love, Little succumbed to seizures and passed away in April 2003. Little Boy’s story tells us that war not only affects humans but all beings. We shall never forget our Little Boy.

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Chimpanzee Facts

Chimp Facts

Communication: because chimps live in complex family groups, they use a wide range of auditory, visual and tactile signals adapted both for distant and close communication. Chimpanzees have been called the noisiest of all African animals! With loud calls, they can wander far within their territory and still stay in contact with community members.

More Facts

Last Updated: February 1, 2007