In Sierra Leone there are many cases of human-wildlife conflict, especially between chimpanzees and people in regards to crop raiding.
Unfortunately, over time people have brushed and cut down patches of forest – for their own livelihoods – which has left the chimpanzees with a smaller area to call home. As the chimps’ food sources, including fruit trees, are cleared, when they see the nearby crops e.g. pineapples, they bravely venture out of the bush to get some food.
From the local peoples’ point of view, they see this as trespassing and crop destruction, as of course (!) the food they have cared to plant for months is quickly pulled out of the ground by the ”wild babu”.
This is one of the conflict issues our conservation & outreach team is trying to mitigate within the 5 districts we are currently working with. Mitigation strategies include the creation of wildlife corridors and livelihood support, such as offering seeds or livestock as a replacement for lost crops. This is an ongoing effort that the team is constantly monitoring, so we can work towards achieving the perfect balance between humans and chimpanzees in Sierra Leone!