Canelle was a six-month-old female chimpanzee when her mother was killed by poachers. Alone in the vast equatorial forest, she wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for the pygmies who found her and then took her to a specialist refuge. That was where she encountered Patricia Leschaeve.
There, on the banks of the Sanaga river, Canelle’s long apprenticeship began. Over five years, Patricia gradually taught her to become autonomous and to live as part of a society, as her mother would have done. In the course of the time they shared together, a strong bond formed between Patricia and Cannelle. But the return to life in the wild as part of a troop of chimpanzees is inevitable, and the separation was always going to be delicate.
Over five years, the filmmakers captured Canelle’s incredible story. Following the entire rehabilitation process until her return to the wild, this documentary bears testimony to the poignant mutual attachment between a chimpanzee and its adoptive mother.
Direction: Jean Barraud & Julien A. Ansault
Production: ZED, JBIZ, CASSONADE
Available versions: French, English
- Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF)
- Best Wildlife Contribution Award