EX-SITU CHIMPANZEE POPULATIONS
There are four wildlife rescue and rehabilitation projects in Cameroon and Nigeria that house chimpanzees, the majority of which are brought to the projects after being confiscated from dealers who are trying to trade the young animals. These projects provide multiple benefits to chimpanzee conservation including supporting law enforcement efforts, providing a situation for conservation education and potentially contributing to the gene pool of endangered wild populations. The positive effects of such projects on the local economy should not be underestimated . in most cases the projects are the largest employers in the towns and villages where they are located, and attract both national and international visitors.
In Cameroon, the Limbe Wildlife Centre is a wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release project situated at the interface between the highly biodiverse Mount Cameroon ecosystem and a coastal region with an increasing human population density. High levels of human-wildlife conflict affect the region and, as such, the position of the LWC is of critical importance in its work to conserve endangered endemic wildlife species such as ellioti chimpanzees, Preuss's guenon (Cercopithecus preussi) and drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus). The LWC, a collaboration between the Pandrillus Foundation and the Government of Cameroon, receives over 40,000 visitors a year and focuses resources on developing and implementing community-focused conservation education programs. Click here for their website.
Also in Cameroon, the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Foundation (CWAF) / Ape Action Africa works in conjunction with the Government of Cameroon to manage the Mvog-Betsi Zoo in the centre of Cameroon's capital city, Yaounde, where there are eight electrified enclosures housing a variety of rescued primates including 80 chimpanzees, 16 gorillas and several other primate species including mandrills, mangabeys and guenon species. They also help in the rescue and rehabilitation of Great Apes from all over Cameroon, but also has a large sanctuary just outside of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Here, they house more than 300 primates including chimpanzees, gorillas, and a variety of monkey species held in large enclosures that are incorporated into natural forest habitat. They run an active education program for local schools that help to teach children about the importance of preserving Cameroon's natural environment and wildlife.
The Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center (SYCRC) was founded in 1999 and is located in the Mbargue forest of the Central Province of Cameroon near the confluence of the Sanaga and Yong rivers. The SYCRC is home to 62 chimpanzees ranging in age from less than six months to over 40 years. SYCRC employs 25 Cameroonians as chimpanzee caregivers, round-the-clock security guards and groundskeepers. Click here for their website.
In Nigeria, the Drill Rehabilitation and Breeding Center (DRBC) is primarily concerned with recovering, rehabilitating and breeding of orphaned drills in captivity with the goal of eventual release into the wild. It also houses 16 chimpanzees, again as the result of confiscated or donated animals, but the chimpanzees are not allowed to breed. The main field site is located on Afi Mountain in Cross River State. The Afi rehabilitation site has a 5 acre semi-natural enclosure for the chimpanzees, and an active ecotourism scheme. Click here for their website.