- He Saved a Baby Chimpanzee and Gave Him a Tour of a Lifetime

Anthony Caere was used to see the world from above - this is what he does for a living. But one day - Anthony had a special mission, with a very special passenger. 
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Although he looks small, this sweet passenger needed a rescue and it was a good thing Anthony was there to save the day. 
What this good man did may seem extraordinary to most, but to him, it is his job or a passion even.  This new footage caught on video reveals his kind act, and a touching moment of the baby ape with his rescuer. 

Lwiro Primates

Within the Democratic Republic of the Congo thrives Lwiro Primates, a rehabilitation center and sanctuary for approximately 200 orphaned chimpanzees and monkeys. These primates have natural habitats and niches of their own, but cruel human deeds drive them out, and sometimes even worse.
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Luckily, there are institutions like the Lwiro Primates which saves troubled animals, like this baby chimpanzee. They recorded what turned out to be a heart-melting video of its rescue, and shared it for the entire world to see. The tiny monkey was not just salvaged but was also given a rare opportunity that even some people could only dream about.

Little Mussa

The video showed Little Mussa, the sick baby chimpanzee rescued by a commendable pilot from Lwiro Primates. He can be seen sitting on the lap of the pilot who is then flying him from Virunga National Park to safety with Lwiro. But before the pair met, the baby chimp was in a very unfavorable situation.
Little Mussa was in the hands of heartless poachers in Congo, that made his life very miserable. Anthony Caere was not willing the let that happen. 
While Anthony flew their plane on the way back to orphaned primate sanctuary Lwiro Primates, he shared a special bond with the young ape.

Wild Work

Lwiro rescues animals that have fallen victim to poaching and pet trade; two very rampant yet concealed evil acts of humans to animals. They currently tend to and care for 80 chimps and 100 monkeys of mixed species, as shared by Itaso Velez del Burgo, the team’s technical director.
Meanwhile, little Mussa was the organization’s third chimpanzee rescue this year. He was seized from a man who was caught keeping protected reptiles illegally, too. However, his real intentions for the chimp were unclear; whether he was trying to sell it or was only keeping it as a pet.
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Curious Chimp

Flying thousands of feet high above the ground is a very unusual feat for a primate and Mussa couldn’t be more bothered. He is actually well-behaved as he sits on Anthony’s lap during the entire flight. Like a human baby, he displayed a rather great inquisition as he looked out the window with heightened curiosity.
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As they covered more distance, little Mussa was not contented with just using his eyes for exploration. He then proceeded to use his tiny paws in examining the foreign environment he is in. There was even a point where he seems to be adjusting the throttle expertly with his fingers, and a keen focus could be caught in his dazzling brown eyes.

Fast-learner

Innocently unaware of what was really going on, little Mussa appears to be just fine. In fact, his curiosity and inquisition of his surroundings eventually showed how remarkably fast of a learner he is. None of these could have been initially expected of the young ape, but then, what he had been through was more unacceptable.
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On the other hand, Anthony took good care of the motherless chimp. He even held him protectively, kissed him on the head and even groomed his fur lovingly. Despite being bewildered by the weird situation he was in, Mussa showed clear signs of bravery and has also demonstrated his head for heights.

On Cloud9

After spending some significant amount of time together, Mussa is now feeling entirely at ease with his newfound best friend. He didn’t show any signs of distress before that anyway. Nevertheless, little Mussa has become truly comfortable as he drifts into a peaceful sleep as they continue their journey afloat among the clouds.
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But as cute as he is, he still slept on the job, and it is not on the list of safety measures of co-piloting a plane. Little Mussa can still be forgiven for his slumber, though, considering his cuteness and of course, the hapless fate he has survived.

Proud Partner

Anthony was more than happy and proud for his partner. Flying with a baby chimp was indeed an opportunity that not just anyone could ever accomplish. Likewise, little Mussa’s one-of-a-kind experience was not widely available to any of his kind either. Together, they made a perfect pair in just a matter of hours.
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The noble pilot even took to his Facebook account his expression on his new co-pilot pal. “Great teamwork of @lwirocrpl and Virunga National Park to save this baby out of the hands of poachers,” his post said. And just like that, he was immediately a people’s favorite.

Sad Story

Little Mussa’s rescue flight story was touching, and he has already found his new home at Lwiro Primates. But as cute as the video and journey were, his story was actually a sad one as Anthony shared in his Facebook post. “He should be with his mum... But happy we could give him a new good home! Thanks to the whole team! This is conservation!”
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After hearing his story, it can be said that it was well-deserved salvation given what he has been through. Mussa had an unfairly tricky start in his innocent young life, as Lwiro Primates revealed to UNILAD.

Unclear Intentions

“Mussa was living in North Kivu, in a village called Beni. We received the alert from a picture that someone was sharing through Whatsapp,” Lwiro explained. Even in situations like this, technology has a significant purpose, and might as well be an important factor in saving the baby chimp.
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Apparently, little Mussa was living with an expat, and he was not alone. There were also other protected reptiles in the man’s house. Research is still ongoing though, for they were still unsure of whether he was keeping Mussa as a ‘pet’ or he was looking for a buyer. Either way, Mussa shouldn’t be in his possession.

Monkey Business

Little to humanity’s knowledge, there is a rampant illegal trade in progress. Monkey business as may literally be put, chimpanzees are involved in illicit critical trafficking towards China and the Middle East. Baby chimps can cost thousands of dollars in these destinations, pumping life into the abominable market.
“What is happening here is that the ‘small poachers’ kill the adults for bush meat, and if they find a baby, they try to sell it. The poachers here can earn between $20 and $50 per baby chimp,” Velez acknowledged. That said, they now have a wild guess on what may have happened to the rest of Mussa’s family.

Motherly Love

This knowledge has led the organization to believe that poor Mussa’s family was definitely killed. The mother was the most probable target, but several members of the family could have met the same end. Just like humans, chimp mothers will do anything to protect their offspring. It’s impossible to take Mussa from the arms of his mum without killing her.
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As Lwiro wrote on a comment on their Facebook post, “Unfortunately his family is dead. We do not know how many, maybe only the mum, but most likely several members of his family were killed.” But after that tragedy, Mussa was bound for something good.

New Home

Regarding Mussa’s current status, Lwiro declared, “He is around three years old, and he will spend the quarantine period with other four babies, also orphaned of poaching, before he can join one of our chimp groups. We take care now of 80 chimps and 100 monkeys of different species.”
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Just as he was mighty fine on his rescue flight, little Mussa seems to be settling well in the orphaned primate sanctuary that he can now call home. The baby chimp can finally get the treatment he deserves. But after some analysis, Lwiro discovered something.

Health Complications

Little Mussa was about three years old when the organization got custody of him. Fortunately, they were able to save him from the unspeakable fate that he was about to be sent off to. The baby chimp was set to live a good life with them, or so they thought.
Lwiro Primates found out that little Mussa had intestinal parasites, but any other way, he was in good health. “He is laughing and playing, which is an excellent sign for orphaned chimps. And he loves tomatoes,” Velez said of the young ape.

A Lovely Pair

Almost anyone who has heard little Mussa’s story might be touched and even is saddened by what he and his family had gone through. However, such horrendous occurrence has a different effect on animal lovers. Oh, what they wouldn’t do to erase the baby chimp’s ugly past and to prevent such things to happen to any animal again.
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It’s understandable how animal lovers took the adorable, tomato loving little Mussa to their hearts. But looking back, the baby chimp is not the only star on the video. His co-pilot, Anthony, has also caught the eyes of many people.

Mr. Pilot

“Oh my heart, this is so dear. I cannot remember the pilot's name; he is such a wonderful, caring MAN, as is every person who helped in the rescue. Beautiful souls. xx Dare I say both are cuties,” one person commented.
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Putting the baby chimp aside, people have also taken notice of the notable pilot that can also be seen in the footage. What he did was indeed remarkable and is worthy of paralleled attention to that of the young ape. But the people’s attention was not only focused on what was done. They have also set eyes on something else.

Thankful

People who have heard of the story little Mussa were thankful for a lot of things. Of course, on the top of the list is the saving of the innocent baby chimp from the hands of the wrong people. Also, he has immediately found a new home and a new family with his fellow orphaned apes and the Lwiro Primates crew who will look after them with utmost care.
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“Oh what a sweetheart and so trusting. Very sad he is not with his mother and family but relieved he is safe and in good hands. Good people out there, thank you,” another comment stated. But who is he?

The Other Mammal

One of the two mammals in the plane was a cute baby chimp, while the other one was an ‘attractive’ bearded pilot. And as much as the video drew attention for the adorable chimp, it has also evoked thoughts on the pilot. Partly, it was because of his gentle manner.
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The spectators found it attractive how the captain calms little Mussa with a quiet ‘shh,’ how he snuggles and tends to the chimp and how he handles the curious infant as it touches knobs on the aircraft’s instrument panel. Some people are probably attracted to the man with a mission, but there are some, who, as one Twitter user suggested, because the pilot is ‘low-key hot.’

People’s Pilot

The pilot has definitely gained a plethora of fans. And as their nature as admirers, they are eager to know more about the notable work that he so willingly does, and of course, about him as a person. Even just by basically doing what he loves, he instantly became a people’s pilot – and it was totally worth it.
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Genuine followers would have already taken to social media their expressions of devotion, and his Instagram account definitely shows a lot about him. His feed is filled with inspiring, remarkable images and videos of the park’s landscape and wildlife. A few of the pilot himself with fellow rangers and other rescued primates is also in view.

#hotpilot

Twitter users have promptly dubbed him as #hotpilot, though his real name is Anthony Caere. But as noteworthy as his rescue of little Mussa is, it wasn’t his first animal rescue. A blog post on Virunga’s website reveals that Caere is Belgian and heads the park’s four-plane Air Wing. His fellow rangers see him as a “big brother” in the sky.
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Among Caere’s duties are supporting ranger’s anti-poaching patrols, performing surveillance for wildlife censuses, inspecting poaching sites and carrying out medical evacuations. But before this recent exposure, he also appeared in “Flying Doctors.” It was a Belgian documentary program which followed three physicians who assisted rangers in Virunga. Even so, life is not all good.

Life-saver

Just last year, the marvelous pilot’s plane crashed immediately after taking off from Mutwanga village. He suffered severe injuries, which fortunately are not life-threatening. Caere knew that they would hit, but being the lifesaver as he was, he maneuvered his plane away from the village and ended up landing in a cluster of banana trees.
He’s not only an animal rescuer; he is also a saver of human life. Moreover, he extends sobering words regarding mountain gorillas, elephants and all the other animals under the prevailing threat of the poaching industry. But despite his rising fame, he is firm in doing one thing.

Busy Bee

Such a man of character would definitely attract a lot of attention, not only from ordinary people but also from media personnel. However, Caere did not respond to the multitude of interview requests coming into his plate. But then again, he may have been too busy in his life-saving endeavors.
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On one of the blog posts on the site, it says that he flies out early in most mornings and doesn’t return until the end of the day. “And as soon as he’s got his feet back on the ground, people gather around him to hear news about the park,” the blog post disclosed.

Hubby Material

Of all the sentiments his fans intended towards him, there was one dominant thought – that Caere is certified husband material. Rummaging through his social media accounts, though, there are no contents displayed stating his feelings about doing dishes and such.
Otherwise, his pages intently make it clear his pronounced passion for wildlife and wild spaces, all genuine and sincere. He obviously loves his work, not only when he’s out in the field, but also in his free time used in posting online. In fact, he published a post on January 6 wherein he wished his followers a happy new year, and made a special request.

Pilot’s Request

Little Mussa is in good health, and his intestinal complications are already under treatment. Despite his grim past, he is now laughing and playing along with others, which is an absolutely good sign for orphaned chimps. His savior, on the other hand, has an extraordinary request for spectators.
“One of the little things I wish for this year is that we all make only that little extra effort for our beautiful, endangered planet, its nature, and its animals,” he said. “If our kids still want to see wild animals here in 20 years, well, then, we need to act now. Don’t give up on our beautiful planet.”

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