Pens the chimp's tragic story began thirty years ago, when he was abandoned off Africa’s Ivory Coast along with 65 other chimpanzees that were used by the New York Blood Center (NYBC) for hepatitis research. Over time the others died. After three years of isolation on a remote island, Ponso finally received a visitor this year – Estelle Raballand, director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Center. The lonely chimp’s happiness was obvious from his ear-to ear-grin and the way he almost immediately hugged Estelle when she reached out to him.
Unfortunately, his joy was short-lived as he had no choice but to return to his life of solitude after his human visitors left. The Humane Society of the United States is currently trying to raise money for Ponso and other chimps abandoned on remote African islands and a group called SOS Ponso has started a crowdfuning campaign that has already surpassed its €20,000 goal. They plan to use this money to provide food and urgent veterinary care for the world’s loneliest chimp.