Tears, apples and travel blankets: Rescued chimps leave troubled California refuge for new home
Chimpanzees rescued from the Tarrare Wildlife Refuge have been released into a remote corner of the Central African rainforest, in the hope of starting a new life and giving their lives meaning.
Katherine McManus, left, and her husband, Mark, were devastated at losing the chimps that would change their lives. They have found a new home for them at the Tarrare and hope the chimps have the chance to create a new relationship with their caregivers.
Chimpanzees living in a remote corner of the Tarrare Wildlife Refuge in the Central African rainforest were rescued after their facility was destroyed by fire in January 2017.
But rather than making their new home in the Tarrare, the chimps are now spending their days together in a new enclosure at the same refuge.
“It is wonderful,” said Dr. Catherine Caughey, the veterinarian who is caring for the chimps and whose husband, Mark, is the refuge’s biologist, in a phone interview from the Tarrare grounds with the National Geographic.
“There is this little community of chimps here who are doing this amazing thing together. They are the lifeblood of the refuge.”
The chimps in this new enclosure were originally rescued by Tarrare resident Catherine Caughey, after being found in a burning home in January 2017.
“It was so heartbreaking to see them all on all of the floors, but also I just wanted to keep them together because they had been found in a house with a lot of smoke and they had all been separated, and they were all in really, really stressful situations,” said Caughey, who is married to Mark Caughey, a biologist who works for the refuge. “I didn’t want to lose any more of them.”
It took some coaxing for Caughey and Mark to reunite with the chimps, who had been in Tarrare care for a few months.
“I went in the morning, got them in the car and brought them in the back and I called the