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Witness
Bama's Journey
One man's quest to protect the great apes of Cameroon.
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 13:27
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Watch part two

Filmmaker: Nicky Chalk

Alfred Bama works at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for young primates and great apes orphaned by the illegal bush-meat trade.

He has hand-reared nearly all of the apes from infancy.

It is both a deep and touching relationship with the gorillas perceiving him as a father and part of their group.

Bama's dedication to the gorillas is about to lead him on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will take him from the gorilla sanctuary in Cameroon to a zoo in Northern England.

As he experiences the life and the riches of the Western world for the first time he realises that in fact the real wealth is still in Africa, exactly where he left it.

'Possible extinction'

"Great Apes as well as other endangered species in Cameroon are facing possible extinction as a result of rapid deforestation and bush-meat hunting," Nicky Chalk, the film's director explains.

"Out here bush-meat, including gorillas and chimpanzees, is a popular delicacy but over-hunting in recent years means that there are very few of these animals remaining in their natural habitat.

"Knowing all of this can make you feel very pessimistic about the future of wildlife in this country which is why meeting Bama was so wonderfully reassuring.  He is passionate about his gorillas and his country and he gave me hope that it is still possible to save them."

Nicky followed Bama on his adventure and the film was nominated as a finalist at the Wildscreen Film Festival 2008, widely regarded as the most prestigious wildlife film festival in the world.

"All I can really hope for is that through Bama people around the world can see what unique and incredible animals gorillas are and how much we all need to make it a priority to save them from extinction before it's too late," Nicky says.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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