Dunia Sibomana was set near the jungle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when the vicious animals struck. He now resides in the United States, where he is a high school wrestling champion
A young boy whose face was torn apart by a gang of chimpanzees that killed his brother and cousin has fought against odds to change his life.
Dunia Sibomana had just been six years in prison when the creatures attacked him and his relatives while they were playing near a nature reserve in Congo.
His four-year-old brother and cousin sustained fatal injuries. Dunia survived the ordeal but was left with devastating facial wounds that would require years of reconstructive surgeries.
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The wild animals tore off his lips completely while his right cheek was torn apart. The muscle damage he sustained made it difficult for him to communicate or even swallow.
The little boy also lost a finger and part of an ear.
Dunia’s horrific trauma in 2014 is one of several devastating attacks on humans by wild monkeys, some of which ended fatally.
This week, a one-month-old baby boy was snatched from his mother while she was breastfeeding him at her home in Tanzania.
Thankfully, Dunia’s traumatic story had a much happier ending.
The little boy was found by a ranger and rescued by paramedics. Then, with the help of the non-profit organization Smile Rescue Fund for Kids, Dunia was taken to New York for reconstructive surgery.
In 2016, tissue and muscle from his forearm were transplanted to replicate his lips.
During his stay with several host families in America, he had 14 surgeries.
And in February of that year, he was adopted by Long Beach Middle School wrestling coach Miguel Rodriguez.
Just weeks later, at the age of 14, the remarkable young man won a Nassau County wrestling championship.
Greater Long Island TV’s Jamie Stuart said Dunia’s story was the most remarkable he had covered in his 20 years in the news business.
“From where he came from to where he is now is just amazing,” said Stuart.
“And amazing is how I would describe not only his attitude but also his new Long Beach family. I am thrilled that we have told this story.”