Chimpanzees at Chimfunshi
Click on the respective chimpanzees to find out more about their touching story!
The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage is currently a home for 120 chimpanzees: six families live in six large enclosures that measure between 19 and 77 hectares each, and three additional groups live at the Orphanage while their larger enclosures are being constructed. Adjacent to each of these enclosures is a building with several cages, which are used exclusively for daily feedings during which the chimpanzees’ health can be monitored, and medical examinations when necessary. The great apes live in the forested enclosure day and night and only enter the cages during one mid-day feeding session. This is necessary to ensure that even the smaller and younger chimpanzees get enough food and that the health of the chimpanzees can be visually monitored.
Some of the chimpanzees were born at Chimfunshi , while others. have been rescued from adverse conditions all over the world. For example, many infant chimpanzees are confiscated by customs in airports. Smugglers stuff them in very small boxes to sell them as pets or as research animals. Sometimes they are also sold as bushmeat and eaten. On the “global market,” chimpanzees are worth up to $ 100,000. Some of them have been kept as an attraction in bars or amusement parks. They are cooped up in cages, chained to posts and often abused. The chimpanzees are usually dehydrated and famished when they arrive at Chimfunshi. Many of them arrive traumatised, and a few are even addicted to unhealthy and unnatural habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. They need intensive and prolonged care. Since they have often lived alone and not in larger communities as chimpanzees usually do, they have to be carefully integrated into one of the chimpanzee families at Chimfunshi after being nursed back to health.
Integrating the primates into one of the existing groups is a prolonged and difficult undertaking that requires understanding for the unique personalities of the chimpanzees. Just like humans, chimpanzees do not all get along with each other equally well. New chimpanzees are acquainted to others in neighbouring cages before they are brought together in shared cages or one of the enclosures. Origin, age, hierarchy, gender and personality play an important role. Sometimes a chimpanzee has to be “introduced” to several groups, before he can be integrated.Top