Journal or Book Title
We report the successful return of an infant chimpanzee, aged approximately nine months, to her mother following the infant’s capture by poachers. The infant received only minor wounds in the incident, but her mother received severe wounds from hunters’ dogs during the capture. One of us (DK) was able to confiscate the infant from the hunters without incident. She was kept in fairly isolated surroundings in order to minimize disease transmission from humans, until the fate of her mother was determined. Following five days in captivity, we successfully returned the infant to her mother. The infant and mother appear to be in fine health eighteen months later. This case of a return of a dependant infant to its mother is perhaps the only successful record for wild chimpanzees, in part because we are able to follow the chimpanzees in question. The outcome was dependant on a number of factors that led to the successful return and acceptance of the infant, such as quick identification and confiscation of the infant, relatively good health of mother and infant, and brief separation time of the mother-infant pair.
Pruetz, Jill D. and Kante, Dondo, "Successful Return of a Wild Infant Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) to its Natal Group after Capture by Poachers" (2010). Anthropology Publications. 11.