Meet Ponso, He is alone in Chimpanzee Island..!!

When everything is lonely I can be my best friend.

These are the words of American Musician ConorOberst. He is right. When everything is lonely, we turn out to be our own best friend!!

Every day we see or at least hear about a lonely person. Sometimes that lonely person will be us. Loneliness is not a thing that is experienced by the humans alone. Animals too will experience loneliness. Ponso is such an animal.  When he became lonely he found himself as his best buddy.

Ponso, a roughly 40 year old chimp, was dumped on an abandoned island, also called the Chimpanzee Island of the Ivory Coast more than 30 years ago after being used for medical testing by New York Blood Center (NYBC).

All of his companions have long since died including his mate and their two children.

This animal currently lives all alone on the tiny island which has no source of food and water.

Since August 2015, the Association Les Amis de Ponso (Friends of Ponso) has paid for the animal’s food and for a dedicated carer, GermainDjenemayaKoidja.

Two years ago, Ponso suffered a traumatic loss when his female companion and two children all died of unknown causes.

Since then the animal has been “the world loneliest chimp”.

Every morning Koidja come to the island to bring food for Ponso. He is welcomed with cries and acrobatics by Ponso.

“Ponso is like my child. I don’t want to see him go somewhere else. I’m making a call to have someone send another female for Ponso”, says Koidja whose family specializes in primates.

Ponso relies on the kindness of Germain who’s dropped off bananas and bread ever since he was left to die.

The Chimpanzee’s isolation has also moved Francoise Stephenson, the Franco American owner in Lahou who has become the leader of a rescue committee for Ponso.

African Primatological Society is considering Ponso’s issue very seriously. 

“Ponso’s story is rather touching” says the APS President, the Ivorian Inza Kone, who is also Director of the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Ivory Coast (CSRS).

“A plan to transfer the ape to a sanctuary in Zambia was mooted by NGOs to end his solitude. But Ivorian authorities refused, arguing that Ponso was a non-transferable Ivorian Citizen”, Kone adds.

“From a scientific and even ethical point of view, it is clear that Ponso must be brought out of this situation of Isolation as soon as possible. There are two methods sending him company or taking him somewhere else”, Kone says.

But the specialists says that it is really tuff to find a companion for Ponso, since nobody couldn’t explains the deaths and disappearances on his island so far.

People think that creating a sanctuary will be  

a wonderful idea to protect Ponso. “The sanctuary will reproduce the natural life setting of the animal and enable him to be in contact with his fellow apes” says Kone.

African primatologists are ready to support this project, but count on a political will to help, which they have so far found insufficient.

“Ponso is the torchbearer of this initiative to create a sanctuary in Ivory Coast”, Kone says “We have to hope that the efforts to set it up get there before it’s too late” Kone opines.

Despite his solitude, this gentle chimp welcomes his visitors with open arms. He was recently visited by Estelle Raballand, Director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center.

He wrapped her in a huge hug even appearing to laugh when she reached out to touch him.

Ponso is just a representative of millions of animals who has been abandoned in these kinds of lonely islands after medical testing. If Germaine wasn’t there, Ponso appears to have been forgotten years ago. NYBC is one of the cruelest faces of human beings. And Germaine is angelic version of ahuman being. Every organization which follows the footsteps of NYBC should remember that ‘Loneliness kills everyone, not just humans, Animals too’….!!!

                                                          Sarika

 

 

 

 

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