Rescue and Care of Chimpanzees, Kenya
Our event in September at the Savoy – Hope 4 Apes at the Savoy, with Sir David Attenborough – was a fantastic evening in the presence of Brian May and Kerry Ellis, Ian Redmond OBE and more. On the evening we raised lots of vital funds through the kind donations and auction purchases from our guests. Care for the Wild has awarded our share of the donations to Sweetwaters in Kenya.
Take a look at the pictures:
Chimpanzees are threatened in the wild by habitat loss, the bush meat and pet trades. Care for the Wild supports the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in their work to care for rescued chimpanzees who are unable to return to the wild. We have raise funds for this work through our adoptions and appeals to our supporters.
There has been very little recent research in the chimpanzee’s range, and so population estimates are crude. The most recent estimate of total population size is 172,700 to 299,700. Chimpanzees are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red list and listed under Appendix I of CITES and as Class A under the African Convention. They are protected by law in most countries and they are present in numerous national parks throughout their range, although many populations occur outside protected areas. Nonetheless, an increase in commercial logging opens up previously inaccessible forest areas to poachers and perpetuates the illegal bush meat trade. Poachers will often kill all adult chimpanzees in an area and then capture the infants to be sold as exotic pets.
For every infant chimp for sale as a pet, up to ten members of his or her family could have been killed. It is also estimated that less than 25% of the infants taken from the wild will survive. They usually die from disease, malnutrition and dehydration.
On rare occasions, the infants are seized by government authorities and taken to sanctuaries like Sweetwaters. However, many are not so lucky and endure years of captivity before being rescued. Captive chimpanzees raised from infancy by humans are taken from their mothers at a young age. In the wild, chimpanzees are dependent on their mothers up to the age of seven. They learn all the necessary skills required for survival in the wild by watching and copying their mothers. Orphan chimps in captivity miss out on this critical learning period, excluding them from ever surviving alone in the wild.
Rescued chimpanzees are brought to Sweetwaters and carefully nursed back to health. They often suffer from dehydration and malnutrition from poor diet and care by their human owners. Sweetwaters believes in integrating chimpanzees rescued from captivity with a group as quickly as possible so each individual is initially placed in quarantine enclosure before gradually being introduced to their new family group. The main aim is to rehabilitate the traumatized animals and provide them with a stimulating, stress-reducing environment that best mimics their natural environment.
There are two large groups of chimpanzees at Sweetwaters, living in vast natural enclosures, separated by a river. In addition to funding the care of two chimpanzees at the sanctuary, Care for the Wild has funded improvements to the enclosures. This support includes building an intensive care facility and provision of medicines for the on-going care of the chimpanzees, and improvements to the chimpanzees’ night-time housing.
Sweetwaters uses the chimpanzee sanctuary as a platform to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees and other primates through public education. As a member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), they contribute to the conservation of primate habitat and lobby for better protection within the chimpanzees range states. Care for the Wild believes in supporting this vital work to help bring about an end to the bush meat and pet trade which will decimate primate populations if demand continues to increase.
Support our work
There are a number of ways you can support our work to help sanctuaries just like Sweetwaters with a donation, regular giving or even a special gift for someone.
- You can always be sure of making a difference by becoming a Wildlife Hero
- Make a donation here
- Get your own cheeky chimp the perfect companion with a chimpanzee soft toy