If one kills a Panda in China for example, he/she will likely go to jail for 30 years while in America one can be fined $5,000 and a year’s imprisonment for killing a bald eagle but in Sierra Leone, people kill, rear and eat chimps with impunity inspite of the chimp been declared the national animal.
The Founder and Director of TCS, Mr. Bala Amarasekaran informed this medium on Tuesday 3rd September 2019 that within 18 months they have received 16 chimps which clearly means that the authorities/institutions are not enforcing environmental laws that negatively impact on the chimps as some of them are brought to the sanctuary badly wounded or malnourished.
He lamented that for every chimp that is brought to the sanctuary about eight have been killed in the wild reiterating that something needs to be done urgently to protect the environment affirming that the rate at which orphaned chimps are brought to the sanctuary is a clear indication that the authorities are not doing anything to stop the rampant deforestation and other illegal human activities taking place in the Western Area Peninsula Forest that is supposed to be a protected area.
According to Mr. Bala Amarasekaran, to receive 16 chimps in the sanctuary in 18 months is a clear indication that hundreds have died in the wild and attributed the increasing rate of deforestation to the lifting of the ban on logging, non-enforcement of environmental laws on national parks that are supposed to be protected areas as well as the bush meat trade.
Over the years, TCS has sensitized communities living around the sanctuary about the importance of the forests, how to keep their environment clean and even providing them with alternative sources of income like fruit trees, chickens, goats and community huts but these efforts have not yielded much dividends.
Also, government does not support the sanctuary with a cent since its establishment about 25 years ago.