- Chimp Eden
Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden Date opened 2006 Location Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa Land area 1,000 ha (2,500 acres) Coordinates Coordinates: Number of animals 33 chimpanzees Website www.chimpeden.com
The Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden, commonly referenced as Chimp Eden is a 1,000 ha (2,500 acres) game reserve and sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees, in the Umhloti Nature Reserve, near Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Opened in 2006 by founder and director Eugene Cussons, in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), its purpose is to provide a permanent and safe home for chimpanzees who are rescued from abusive and unfortunate circumstances from areas where these great apes are being constantly exploited by humans through the bushmeat trade, pet trade and entertainment industries. At the sanctuary, the chimps are rehabilitated with the help of their care takers in being re-introduced back into chimpanzee social skills such as learning how to climb trees and live in a social group with others of their own kind.
Chimp Eden is the only sanctuary for chimpanzees within South Africa. Part of the reserve it is home to game animals such as giraffes, zebra etc. which are also managed and conserved by the director of Chimp Eden. Chimp Eden has rescued chimpanzees from Angola, Sudan, Mozambique, Italy and rescued chimpanzees from the Johannesburg Zoo.
Juvenile enclosure 1
This enclosure contains 12 chimpanzees, all rescued individuals. Zac, an adult male who was rescued from Angola after being found chained to a tree outside a nightclub in Luanda, is the dominant male in this group. Zac took over the group only recently from old male Joao, who was kept at a zoo in Mozambique. Other members of the group include Cozy, was found rescued from Italy where he was kept in solitary confinement and needed rehabilitation into chimp social skills. There were two young females, Xena, who was rescued from United Arab and Sally, who was rescued from Luanda, Angola. In April 2007 five baby chimps( Charlie, Nina, Thomas, Dinka and Zee) were rescued from Sudan where they were all victims of the bushmeat trade. All have settled in remarkably well. Two others, Sampa and Tony, were rescued from Angola were they were being confined to an inhospitable cage. Tony was found to have cataracts in one of his eyes and after a life saving operation , he is a lot better now. Currently in this group are Alpha male Zac, Joao, Cozy, Sampa, Tony, Dinka, Zee, Nina, Sally, Xena, Charlie and Thomas.
Juvenile enclosure 2
This enclosure contains 12 chimpanzees, all rescued individuals. Charles, who was rescued from an entertainment circus in South Africa and arrived in December 2008, is the dominant male in this group. This group contains two adult females, Jessica the dominant female who was rescued from an entertainment circus in South Africa and Martha, who was rescued from being kept in solitary confinement in Ghana. In July 2008 , 7 babies (Charlene, Marco, Mowgli, Azie, Bazia, Mary and Tamu)were rescued from Sudan where they were all victims of the bushmeat trade. Other two, Suzie who was rescued from the entertainment industry and Lily, who was a victim of the bushmeat trade. Currently in this group are Alpha male Charles, Jessica, Martha, Suzie, Lily, Marco, Bazia, Mary, Charlene, Mowgli, Tamu and Azie.
This enclosure contains eight chimpanzees, all rescued individuals and is the only group composed entirely of adult chimps. Amadeus, who was relocated to the sanctuary from Johannesburg Zoo, is the dominant male in this group. Amadeus took over the group after former alpha male Abu, who was also relocated to the sanctuary from Johannesburg Zoo. Other members include Nicky, who was rescued from being kept as a pet which humanised him, and Nicky is the second ranking male and has a tendency to constantly court the females, which usually gets him into trouble. The females include Jinga, the dominant female who was rescued from Liquor factory, Mimi, who was rescued from a solitary confinement situated near a diesel generator, Lika, who was rescued from Luanda, Angola where she was a victim of a bushmeat trade, Josephine, who was rescued from a solitary confinement in a shipping container in Luanda, Angola,and Claudette, who was relocated to the sanctuary from Johannesburg Zoo and finally the recently rescued Claudine, who arrived at the sanctuary recently. Currently in this group are Alpha male Amadeus, Nicky, Jinga, Mimi, Josephine, Claudette,and Lika.
Chimp Eden also has a boutique hotel where visitors can rent a place to stay during their visit. Tours are carried out throughout the sanctuary and game reserve, as the chimps are not the only attraction to see. There are volunteer programmes which enable the recruitment of sufficient keepers as well as adoption scheme which enables the sanctuary to continue its rescue and rehabilitation work with the chimpanzees.
Escape to Chimp Eden
The Chimp Eden sanctuary was featured on the Animal Planet television series, Escape to Chimp Eden. The programme covers the work at the sanctuary, daring rescue missions carried out by Chimp Eden founder and director, Eugene Cussons and human elements.
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