Sanctuaries For Endangered Chimpanzee The natural habitat of Chimpanzees is spread across the West African coast, through the central forested belt of Africa, to Uganda. Even if Kenya isn't one of their places of origin, it is their adopted homeland. Rescue: Many chimpanzees from West and Central Africa survived traumatic situations. Some were orphaned when their parents got killed for food and some imprisoned in cages, or made part of a circus or other entertainment acts. The first chimps that were rescued were rehabilitated in a rescue center in Burundi and later shifted to Sweetwaters in 1993. Safety and Protection: Great efforts are being taken to safeguard the endangered species. Chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations like poaching and war have found shelter in more than a dozen sanctuaries across Africa. After the outbreak of civil war, the OlPejeta Conservancy, run by a not-for-profit organization, opened its doors to the chimps to a 90,000-acre preserve that specializes in rhino protection as well as operates as a chimpanzee orphanage Rehabilitation: The traumatized chimpanzees were illegal trafficked and suffered greatly due to the massive deforestation. Some were victims of the bush meat trade. Hence the release of rehabilitated animals is very challenging. Conservationists prefer to keep them safe and provide them with a stimulating, stress-reducing environment that is similar to their natural habitat. Safe-Haven: Established in 1993, the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is the only place in Kenya that offers a refuge for chimpanzees rescued from the black market. An agreement between the OlPejeta Conservancy, the Jane Godail Institute, and the Kenya Wildlife Service, lead to the creation of the sanctuary that now has a total number of 39 rescued chimpanzees. Many arrive with horrific injuries caused by the human abuse, but at Sweetwaters, they get a second chance to start over. Separated by the EwasoNyiro River the 39 chimps now live amongst the expanse of natural enclosures. The chimps have set times for feeding and to return to their indoor enclosures at night, but the rest of their day is spent exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again. Help: Many people who stay at the Sweetwaters Tented Camps make a trip to the sanctuary. The visitors can observe the chimpanzees during their set feeding times, either from an exclusive viewing platform or the chimp walk. The visitor center gives out information about each chimp, and if you end up falling for any one in particular, then you can take a pledge to adopt it. Your help will go a long way in ensuring they live the rest of their days in peace and safety. Author Bio: The author is a huge advocate of safeguarding endangered species in Africa. He often travels to the Sweetwaters Tented Camps and writes about his experiences.