Sierra Leone Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Nabeela Tunis together with members from the ECOWAS parliament visited the Tacugama Chimpanzees Sanctuary.

The minister expressed her pleasure in interacting with the Chimpanzees which are known as the country’s national animals.

The minister disclosed that a total of 60 people were on the trip, including 38 ECOWAS members of Parliament and staff, adding that over 99% had never visited the Tacugama Sanctuary before, and they were enchanted with the educational aspect of Chimpanzees and also thrilled to see them up close.

Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament in an interview expressed his happiness and gratitude for being able to bring his colleagues from the ECOWAS Parliament to visit the Tacugama Chimpanzees Sanctuary.

He thanked the Tacugama Chimpanzees Sanctuary team for their efforts in protecting the animals, acknowledging that most of them had never gotten such before.

He pledged to continue advocating for such places and supporting organizations like the Tacugama Chimpanzees Sanctuary, adding that he believed with more support, the Sanctuary would make more significant improvements and protect more Chimpanzees from wildlife and human threats. He acknowledges them learning a lot about the animals during their visit particularly having close encounters with both young and adult Chimpanzees.

One of the participants an ECOWAS member of parliament from Liberia, Senator Steven Zargo encouraged his colleagues to sponsor a Chimpanzee at the Sanctuary with a yearly contribution of $60. Cargo underscored that this small gesture would be rewarding and encouraged the government to collaborate with international institutions to increase the number of Chimpanzees at the Sanctuary, which will showcase the uniqueness of the Sanctuary and attract more visitors to the country.

In her concluding message to the members, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Madam Nabeela Tunis highlighted the highlights of their visit mentioning that meeting Tito a Chimpanzee rescued by President Julius Maada Bio and handed over to the Tacugama Sanctuary 27 years ago. She described the experience as incredible and invited everyone to visit the Sanctuary not only to connect with the country’s national animal but also to immerse themselves in nature.

She expressed her excitement for more travel opportunities as this is the month of Travel and Hospitality.