In 1998, IPPL raised over $35,000 from our supporters to help a unique baby gorilla girl named Pitchou, whose mother had been shot for bushmeat.
Pitchou had languished for three days in a small crate in a tourist area hotel before being bought by the hotel’s owners, who could no longer bear to see her suffer. They paid about US$20 for her. A couple of weeks later, the owners realized what a commitment it is to care for a gorilla and turned her over to the hardworking folks at Cameroon’s Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC).
When she arrived at the LWC, Pitchou had severe ringworm, her body covered with scabs, scars, and bald patches from the infection. She was malnourished and so traumatized that (just like some stressed-out humans) she perpetually ground her teeth. She was a real mess!
At that time, IPPL had already helped support this rescue center for a couple of years and immediately began raising more funds, with our “Pitch in for Pitchou” campaign, to help sustain the work of facility and enable it to meet Pitchou’s needs. Thankfully, with the help of professional expertise and 24-hour care, Pitchou made a full recovery.
Now, 13 years later, Pitchou is still doing great and is one of the leaders of LWC’s gorilla group. She would not be alive today if it were not for the great care she received from Limbe’s African and expatriate staff members, who are grateful for IPPL’s support, from the early years on.