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Andrew Westoll hugs a baby chimp, melts hearts

Andrew Westoll, former primatologist and author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (HarperCollins Canada), is currently in the Republic of Congo, visiting the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre, the largest sanctuary of its kind in Africa.

While there, Westoll made the acquaintance of Lemba, an orphaned two-year-old chimpanzee, partially paralyzed from polio.

Westoll writes on his blog:

Lembu rolled over to my feet, righted herself onto her bottom and then reached her arms up to me. I couldn’t resist (nor should I have). I picked Lemba up, she buried her head into my neck, and for the next five minutes we just held on to each other as tightly as we could.

If that doesn’t bring the tears, try reading The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. As Q&Q reviewer Emily Donaldson writes, “Only the most intransigent heart will be unmoved by Andrew Westoll’s account of his time spent volunteering at Quebec’s Fauna Sanctuary, a refuge for chimpanzees that have been ‘retired’ from biomedical research.”

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