Kasiisi Primary School students learned from personal experience what it feels like to have a snare injury, through a unique game designed by Kibale Chimpanzee Project’s Jess Hartel and Nigel Wrangham.
Joining with Snare Removal Rangers from the Kanyawara, Ngogo and Budongo research teams, children taped up hands, arms and feet to mimic the snare injuries that chimpanzees suffer.
At first it was funny for the students’ to be ‘missing’ a finger or hand, but when they had to tie a homemade ‘snare care’ bracelet onto their wrist and then run to the finish line, competing against ‘un-snared’ students, attitudes changed. The ‘snared’ kids were left behind. They quickly understood the analogy – If they could not tie on a bracelet, how could a chimpanzee with damaged hands and feet climb a tree, pick fruit, or even groom? The message had suddenly become clear. Weeks later, the students were still wearing their snare care bracelets and one young girl had talked to her hunting father into no longer set snares.