Eight years ago, Laura Darby was offered the chance to move to the Congo and research chimps in the wild.The opportunity was Darby’s dream, but there was one problem. She had a brand new boyfriend.
Not ready to give up the amazing job (or her new beau, Adam Singh), she invited him to travel with her to Africa, and together, they made the journey to the remote village that would be their new home.
On top of Darby’s research, the couple cared for five orphaned chimps — two of which lived in their house.
“It was kind of like having a child that you had to take care of who just had really sharp teeth,” Darby said.
And as tough as the living conditions were, by Christmas, Darby and Singh (and their chimps!) were one big happy family.
But shortly after, their good fortune took a turn.
Darby was diagnosed with malaria, and a corrupt village official threatened to seize the chimps if they didn’t pay the money he requested.
“So I hatched this plan,” Darby explained. “I put out a call. I found a place for them to go. I found somebody who was willing to pay for a flight if we could find one.”