During a rescue flight an infant chimpanzee and rescue pilot bonded almost instantly. The adorable video quickly went viral and it is not hard to understand why. The chimp’s trust in the pilot will warm your heart as the two bond, play, and comfort each other on the plane ride to safety.
Mussa the chimpanzee is long overdue for the love and safety of caring humans and fellow chimpanzees.
Mussa was captured as a baby and illegally held in a private residence. Mussa’s family, including his mother, had been killed during the capture. It was not until he was three years old that he had been rescued and a plan was created to send him to a wildlife sanctuary.
This is when Anthony Caere was brought in to fly the sweet chimpanzee to his new home.
Caere was the perfect pilot for the job because he understands the needs of a rescued chimp.
“If you have like a really chill little baby chimp who is happy to be on your lap, and it holds you, then you have the wrong effect when you put it in a cage. Then it will totally freak out, start to cry. And it can die, actually. So we take the time to gain his trust, to feed him. And when he feels comfortable and he jumps on your arms and he holds you, then it’s time to do the flight,” Caere explained to PBS.
Jumping into the pilot’s arms is exactly what this tender hearted chimpanzee did.
Mussa could have chosen any seat on the plane, but he chose Caere’s lap. Mussa’s curiosity is at an all time high as the two start to take off. He is looking every which way but does not seem nervous in the lap of his rescuer. Mussa even tries to help fly the plane by adjusting the throttle! He is quickly turning into a great co-pilot.
The flight is a bit lengthy for Mussa and he even fell asleep for a nap in Caere’s lap for a bit. Mussa has complete trust in Caere.
Caere and Mussa’s touching moments will melt your heart. Their cuddles within the quiet of the flight display how sweet Mussa truly is. It also shows how devastating it was to have killed his family and held him in captivity for years. Caere said it best to PBS,
“I hope the people not only say, OK, it’s a cute movie, but the message is that that little chimp should be with his mom, and not on my lap.”
Since the video went viral the sanctuary that Mussa was sent to, Lwiro Primates, wanted everyone to have an update. Mussa is doing great! He has bonded with an older chimpanzee, Papi, who has turned into his surrogate father. Lwiro Primates hope that Mussa will be able to be released back into the wild when he grows into an adult chimpanzee. Until then he is loving his new home with fellow chimpanzees.
Lwiro Primates share that Mussa has a new found love of tomatoes!
The Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center is located in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mussa is living amongst 91 other chimpanzees and 108 different monkeys. All these animals have been rescued from poachers and the illegal pet trade. Mussa has to love being surrounded by so many playmates for the first time in his life.
Watch Mussa and Caere’s adorable flight video in full, right below.
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