If you have not watched BBC America’s 3-part documentary series Baby Chimp Rescue, what are you waiting for? Seriously, it’s outstanding. Often heartbreaking, yes, but also triumphant. Plus, the baby chimps are so adorable you will cry. One such tiny legend is JoJo, introduced in the upcoming finale, a wee trickster who loves jumping and spinning.
As I notedin my earlier overview of Baby Chimp Rescue, the series is both informative and a call for action. In the finale, “the team reaches a breaking point now caring for 38 rescued baby chimps, and the orphans have their first taste of life in the forest.” It’s an incredible journey thanks to the efforts of an incredible American couple, the Desmonds, who have devoted their lives now to caring for these orphaned, endangered chimpanzees.
Check out our exclusive clip from “A New Beginning” below, where we learn all about sweet JoJo. The finale airs Saturday, December 19th on BBC America, and remember that you can also donate to the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and “adopt” a chimp (JoJo is an excellent choice!) to help out.
Here’s a full synopsis of the series:
The three-part series narrated by Gillian Burke (Blue Planet UK), from executive producer Jo Shinner (Planet Earth: A Celebration), follows an American couple, Jenny and Jim Desmond, as they teach their 21 rescued baby chimps how to survive on their own.
The Desmonds are parents to an unusual and very large family of 21 orphaned baby chimpanzees. But their home in Liberia is rapidly becoming too small for this rambunctious troop of animals. Stretched to their limits, the Desmonds are building a sanctuary in the forest so their unconventional family can live as natural a life as possible. But before they can move out, these orphans need to learn how to live like wild chimps.
Welcome to baby chimp school, where lessons are taught by Jim, Jenny, a team of local caregivers and chimp expert Ben Garrod. Star pupils include Max, the cheeky future alpha male who is easily distracted from lessons. Ella, the youngest, is a very fast learner. And Lucy, the cleverest, helps teach the others what to do. The series also highlights the work the Desmonds are doing with the wildlife authorities to rescue endangered chimps and teach the public that chimps are neither pets nor food. With the wild chimp population in free-fall, they’re in a race against time to change the way people see chimpanzees – before they disappear forever.
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For more television talk, pop culture chat and general japery, you can follow her @keeneTV
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