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Man detained for owning chimpanzee

Elijoh Musa, believed to be a motor mechanic, has been arrested and detained by the police in Kenema for possessing a male chimpanzee called Spinner.
Mr Musa told this medium at the Kenema Police Division that he bought the chimpanzee for Le150.000 from a Guinean three years ago.
He disclosed that the conservation officer had visited him twice in the past and on both occasions he met the chimp undergoing medical treatment.
“Now they are using the law to take it from me which I will never be happy about, because they don’t want to give me any compensation for the animal,” he said.
But the conservation education officer at the Chimpanzee Conservation and Sensitization Programme (CCSP), Senesie J. Samai, had another twist to the tale.
He told Awoko that he met the ape drinking rum at the Capitol Entertainment Centre along Hangha Road last week, and that that’s why Musa was arrested.
Another conservation education officer, Bintu Keifala, explained that “it is illegal to keep chimpanzees as pets according to the Sierra Leone Wildlife Conservation Act 1972”.
She promised to take the confiscated primate to the Tacugama Sanctuary at Regent village in Freetown this week.
Meanwhile, the police are yet to press charges against Musa.

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