A baby Chimpanzee named Leo was treated badly, neglected and was held captive illegally outside a Liberian national park.
Jenny and Jimmy Desmond, founder of Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection, rescued Leo.
Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection rescues Chimpanzees ‘who are victims of illegal bushmeat and live pet trades’, according to their website.
LCRP currently cares for more than forty chimpanzees.
When Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection found out about Leo, they started searching for him.
“We first received a report he was at a bar, but he was no longer there when authorities investigated. We thought we’d lost him”, Jenny Desmond told The New York Post.
Thankfully, he was found and rescued.
“Leo is an amazing survivor of trauma and an inspiration to us about how one can overcome such tragedy and begin a new life,” Jenny Desmond said, according to KSMP-TV.
“In his previous situation, I’m sure he was sad and lonely. He had watched his mom and family killed, been kidnapped and then tied up with a rope so he couldn’t move freely.”
When Leo arrived at LCRP after being rescued, other Chimpanzees at LCRP welcomed him.
The heart-melting video of the chimpanzees welcoming Leo was posted on LCRP Facebook page with the caption: ‘Here’s a video of LCRP’s newest family member is welcomed for the first time by our middle nursery group.
He’s beyond excited and overwhelmed (you can see his smile is mixed with overexcitement) everyone vying for his or her chance to get or give him a hug! You can see That some of the chimps are even trying to help calm him.’
‘He was embraced fully and chose to stay with the group full time from this moment on. He now accompanies the group and their caregivers to their daytime play area and comes back to the house to sleep with them all at night. We’re thrilled and so grateful to all our little ones for their generosity of spirit!’
The video left everyone in tears and received thousands of positive comments. And, the reaction of Leo made everyone fall in love with him.
People praised the fellow Chimpanzees for their kindness.
Jenny Desmond told Good Morning America: “That reception really sealed the deal for him and started him on a journey toward recovery.”
It was really sweet! The way they welcomed him and the way Leo smiled melted everyone’s heart.