Heartwarming Moment Baby Chimpanzee Bonds With Pilot As He’s Flown To Safety After Being Orphaned By Poachers

Lwiro Primates, a rehabilitation center and sanctuary for nearly 200 orphaned chimpanzees and monkeys in Congo, shared a heart-melting video of a baby chimp rescue. In it, tiny Mussa sits in the lap of a pilot who is flying the animal from Virunga National Park to safety with Lwiro.

“Unfortunately his family is dead,” Lwiro wrote in a comment on Facebook. “We do not know how many, maybe only the mum, but most likely several members of his family were killed.”

But the video drew as much attention for its bearded pilot as it did for the adorable chimp. It was partly the man’s gentle manner: He calms Mussa with a quiet “shh,” nuzzles and grooms the chimp and supervises as the baby touches a knob on the aircraft’s instrument panel.