Info. on Sweetwaters Chimp Sanctuary
It’s been a quiet week here at the Sanctuary, no clowning around from our friends, so I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of your questions.
More often than not I am asked whether we will eventually release the chimps back into the wild. Sadly I must say no. Nearly all the chimps in our care have been traumatized.Most of those who come into our care are bush meat trade orphans and are hand-reared before being integrated into chimpanzee communities. They are therefore semi-dependent on humans and would probably not be able to fend for themselves in the wild.
Our vision as the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is to provide a safe and secure permanent refuge for chimpanzees in an environment that is as natural as possible while also serving as a platform to raise awareness on the plight of the chimpanzees in the wild.
The biggest threat to chimpanzees in the wild is the bush meat trade crisis closely followed by loss of habitat. These threats still exist and releasing the chimps back into this hostile environment would greatly reduce their chances of survival hence the reason for Sanctuaries like Sweetwaters. Chimps are also not native to Kenya: their natural rangeland extends from Guinea, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan and as such they cannot be released into the wild here in the Conservancy.
I’ve also been asked quite a few times why the chimpanzees are kept in a house instead of being let to roam freely. Well, the chimps are ONLY kept in the house at night, during the day they have 250 acres to freely roam in. Chimps can be dangerous, especially to humans, they can attack, bite and cause injuries thus they are not allowed to roam freely within the larger Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Instead they have an enclosure all to themselves. This enclosure helps keep track of the chimps and allows keepers to easily observe and take care of them.
I hope I have been able to clear up some things and this has been educational for you. Kindly let me know if you have any other burning chimp questions and I’ll try my best to answer them.