The boat ride also took us past Monkey Island.
Before Liberia's civil war there was a research institute that did pharmaceutical tests on chimpanzees. These tests were illegal in the US, so companies performed the tests here and send the results back to the US. When the war started, the institute shut down. They left the chimps behind on 6 different islands; people still bring them food 2-3 times a week.
As the boat approached one of these islands, the kids in my class began making loud "monkey" sounds. Slowly, about 8 chimps came to the coastline. They wanted to be fed. They even used hand motions to show us they wanted food. Unfortunately, due to the low water levels, we could not get the boat close enough to the shore to throw the chimps the bread we had brought for them. These showed us their displeasure by jumping around and pounding their fists on the sand. As we watched the chimps on this island, we could hear the sounds of monkeys on other nearby islands.
It was amazing to see these animals out in the wild, but a little scary too. Their size was massive! And, the echoes that carried across the water of the other monkeys on the surrounding islands were a tad creepy.
|Can you find all 7 chimps in the last photo?|
|The dirt road to the beach kicked up lots of dust.|