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After life of trauma, this country's lab chimpanzees have now settled into retirement

The chimps are the remainders of a group of about 400 ex-test subjects of a US-funded research project -- and have survived decades of invasive experiments.

April 27, 2022 / 11:45 AM IST
Abandoned chimpanzees being cared for in Liberia's Marshall city.

Abandoned chimpanzees being cared for in Liberia's Marshall city.

Floating on a river boat near a Liberian island, vet Richard Ssuna watches intently as animal carers wade towards the shore hurling fruits and imitating chimpanzee calls as they go.

The beach is empty, but the sound of rustling and chimpish grunts begins to fill the green undergrowth. Slowly, an ape knucklewalks out onto the beach to grab some food.

He's a high-ranking member of his troop, explains Ssuna, as more chimpanzees follow. The younger ones gambol and hoot in delight as carers throw them bananas, palm nuts and cassava.

Sixty-five chimps are spread across six uninhabited river islands near the Atlantic Ocean, about 55 kilometres (34 miles) south of the West African country's capital Monrovia.