Poached chimps find an island haven | Global Ideas | DW | 29.11.2016
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Global Ideas

Poached chimps find an island haven

Demand for chimpanzees as house pets in Asia and for bushmeat is fuelling poaching in Africa. In Uganda, rescued chimps have found a new home at an island sanctuary.

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A new home for chimpanzees

Project goal: Rescuing chimpanzees, protecting existing populations and providing alternative livelihoods to nearby communities 
Implementation: The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust has three programs. One focuses on the welfare of rescued chimps on Ngamba Island. Another focuses on environmental education and the third focuses on protection of wild chimpanzees 
Project budget: $700,000 to $1 million a year for all three programs 
Biodiversity: On the last count in 2002 in Uganda, the wild chimp population numbered 4,950.

Chimpanzees are among our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. But they are under threat because their habitat is disappearing rapidly. Added to that, there is enormous demand from Asia for the great apes as house pets or for zoos, which has led to rampant poaching in places like Congo and Cameroon. Poachers will often kill entire chimpanzee troops to capture their babies. But there are also many organizations and individuals dedicated to saving our primate cousins. One of them is the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust in Uganda. It’s working to reduce human impact on wildlife and bring chimpanzees back from the brink of extinction.

A film by Carl Gierstorfer

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