Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Santuary
Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened in 1993 in a negotiated agreement between Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute. The facility was established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. The initial group of three chimpanzee orphans were brought to the Sanctuary from the Jane Goodall Halfway House in Bujumbura, Burnundi. This group of chimpanzees needed to be evacuated due to outbreak of civil war in the country. This was followed in 1995 by another group of nine adult chimpanzees, followed by another 10 in 1996. They now accept chimpanzees from all over the world.
At Sweetwaters, the chimpanzees are being carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure. They are home to more than 40 chimpanzees who live in two groups separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River.
In addition to providing refuge the sanctuary also strives to raise awareness on the plight of chimpanzees in the world. Sweetwaters is a charted member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), an alliance of 23 sanctuaries in 13 African Countries; currently caring for over 800 orphaned and/or confiscated chimpanzees.
Working with researchers and experts Sweetwaters has implemented a range of enrichment facilities in the 250 acre enclosure that entertain, teach, and invigorate the chimpanzees. So althourgh they are still living in captivity, they do everything they can to make their life here as happy, liberating and natural as possible.
Chimpanzees have already disappeared from 4 African countries, and are nearing extinction in many others. The three biggest threats to chimpanzees in Africa are bushmeat trade, habitat loss from commercial logging and illegal wildlife trade. Orphan chimpanzees rescued from wildlife trade can never be released into the wild, and need a place like Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary to live out their days.
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