King Bruno, Chimpanzee
Since 2006 there has been a lot of debate among the citizens of Freetown in Sierra Leone as to whether a large and intelligent chimpanzee called Bruno has been spotted in the nearby hills.
Opinion varies wildly amongst locals as to what exactly became of the well known chimp. Some say he has been killed by the CIA. Others, that he was abducted for his sperm. There are many theories, but nothing concrete.
As a baby chimp, Bruno was orphaned by hunters. This is not an unusual story for the dwindling population of chimpanzees in Sierra Leone, where chimps have been sold for bush meat and their orphaned children sold as pets.
Bruno was lucky. In 1989 he was bought for 30 dollars, raised by humans and very much cherished – so much so that his owner built a chimpanzee sanctuary. But then, one day, tragedy struck. A large group of chimpanzees – led by Bruno - escaped from a sanctuary. In the process, a man was maimed and another man was killed.
Bruno he has never been found since.
Now when an Irish filmmaker from Dublin was visiting Freetown in 2006 he became fascinated with the story of Bruno. He returned to Sierra Leone several times to seek out those who think they spotted the chimpanzee, and he has even published a children’s book telling his story.
The filmmaker in question, Paul Glynn, joins us from the BBC Studios in London to tell us more about the legendary chimp...
For more information, visit www.kingbruno.com.