Pilot flies orphaned baby chimpanzee to freedom after being rescued from poachers

Nearly 3,000 chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans are illegally put down or stolen from the wild each year. These are the horrifying statistics provided in a new report from the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Great Apes Survival Partnership (GASP). The numbers show the proportions of this man-caused ape crisis.

Mussa, the adorable baby primate in the video below, was left an orphan after her mother fell into Congolese poachers’ hands. Luckily for her, the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Primates in Lwiro stepped in to help her, and with the assistance of a volunteer pilot, Mussa now has a chance to live a long, healthy life.

The clip below shows her flight to freedom, and is one of the best things on the Internet right now. As you will see from the clip, Mussa and the pilot quickly became friends and the well-behaved ape sat in his lap throughout the flight. What’s more, Mussa even took a short nap mid-flight before reaching her destination and being placed in the care of those at the rehabilitation center. The center is currently home to a wide array of endangered species, including elephants, chimpanzees, and gorillas, so Mussa will fit right in.

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