My name is Chimp Peace and I’m 30 years old this year. But for 12 years of my life I lived under captivity and at exactly 12 years old, I was taken to Court and stood before the Judge to defend my rights as a Chimpanzee.
That sounds like a great feat, right?! But to me it wasn’t. It was a nightmare, a life I don’t want to relive but for purposes of creating awareness I will go ahead and retell it.
I was found and kidnapped from Kabale forest and sold into pet trade. When I was 12 years old, I was found and confiscated from Collins Hotel. Yes! I lived in a Hotel.
Unlike most Chimpanzees who were mainly turned into house pets, I was a hotel pet that served the purpose of entertaining guests as they enjoyed the tranquil environment.
Talk about a Chimpanzee working in the hospitality business and Peace came to mind. But it wasn’t always as tranquil for me as it was for the visitors; I missed my family and never got a chance to learn any Chimpanzee behavior.
And before I knew it, in 1998 I stood before a Judge in Court in a case against my previous owners and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre produced me in Court as evidence against Collins Hotel.
You can’t imagine the uproar I caused when I appeared. We won the case against Collins Hotel and got settlement for illegal possession of wildlife.
That was a great feat in the sense that it provided awareness about my kind in Uganda and it also helped Chimpanzees like Pasa and Nakuu get returned to the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
That case changed the game for most of us, so when I tell you being a chimpanzee is dangerous you’ve got to hear me out because I have experienced it firsthand.
My name is still Peace, it wasn’t changed irrespective of the unrest I caused my previous owner.
I would like to see your beautiful faces. When are you visiting?
1000 Pant Hoots