Liberia has a long history of consuming bushmeat: from duikers and civets, to monkeys, snakes and pangolins. Everything ends up on a plate.
Also, many pangolins are being poached all over Africa to be shipped to Asia (mostly China and Vietnam), where they unrightfully believe the scales of the pangolin serve medical purposes and where the meat is considered a delicacy, making the pangolins the most trafficked animals in the world.
Researchers estimate that 2 million pangolins have been illegally traded in the last 16 years. With increased scarcity, it has been difficult to estimate current populations of the 8 pangolin species. However, international pressure has mounted to prevent the pangolin’s extinction. Last year at CITES’ Conference of the Parties, where the world’s conservation agencies meet, pangolins received appendix I protection. Appendix I represents the highest level of protection offered by the organization and pressures the 183 affiliated nations to enforce the strictest possible conservation measures.
The Ebola crisis of 2014 had put a temporally halt on the consumption of bushmeat, only to start over again after the disease was under control…
There is a new wildlife law in Liberia that has been passed in November 2016 now making it illegal to eat, keep, catch, sell, kill or transport protected species in Liberia and stop the trade of wildlife all together. As answer to this new law, the Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary was established in collaboration with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and Libassa Ecolodge.
We are also part of a confiscation unit that was created with the help and support of the European Union, local authorities and NGO's such as Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, FDA, SCNL, LCRP, and the Liberia National Police.
It is always our main mission to release as many animals as possible. But unfortunately, this is not always possible. Most of the animals that come in are orphans. Although we keep human contact to a minimun, some animal species tend to bond with the caregivers, slimming down their chances of release. In some cases, rehabilitation can take many years making them long-term residents at the sanctuary.
To cover the costs of the (lifelong) care for these animals, we offer you an opportunity to virtually "adopt" one of the animals in our care. Click the button below to see how!
So far, 555 animals came in and over 277 animals got released!
We take in a wide variety of animals: crocodiles, birds (of prey), pangolins, antelopes, civets, genets, monkeys, (sea)turtles and many more. We do not take in chimpanzees as they require specialized care and living space we can not offer at the sanctuary. Therefore, chimpanzees are taken to Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection where they receive the care they need.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle being rescued on the beach
At the moment, the sanctuary is home to 88 primates (and counting)! Our main mission is to get them back into the wild, and we need YOUR help to do so! Learn more about our Primate Release Programs here!