At the core of Ol Pejeta’s purpose is the duty to provide a sanctuary for great apes from around the world. Currently, there are 36 chimpanzees in the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where they have 250 acres and a dedicated team of caregivers to ensure they remain healthy and happy. Last year we were very glad to complete the successful integration of Manno, a young male who had been rescued from Iraq in 2016. We have two older females, Akeela and Jane, who have affectionate and nurturing natures and act as excellent guardians for newcomers.
On the 26th April, we will welcome Bo and Bella, both young females, who have been rescued from Guinea Bissau in West Africa. For over a year, they have been kept in custody at Cufada Park HQ, so it is a relief that at last they can begin their new lives on Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Bo was originally rescued in April 2015, when she was about two years old. She was seized from a man in Cantanhez Forest National Park, who was intending to sell her. Although the authorities tried to find a sanctuary in West Africa, they were unsuccessful. With the help of PEGAS and the resolute efforts of researcher Maria Joana Da Silva, PASA were able to find a place for both her and Bella here at Sweetwaters. Sadly, less is known about Bella, except that she was rescued in 2017 and had been held in a military post in poor conditions.
We are confident that this will be the beginning of a much happier life for them both, and look forward to watching them grow and recover as they adapt to their new surroundings. The bushmeat trade makes thousands of helpless orphans, who are often adopted as household pets only until they reach adolescence. Many of them live out their days in cramped cages, locked away in isolation and terror. That is why we feel it is our duty to welcome as many chimpanzees here as we can, where they have space, companions, caring keepers and proper nutrition - and a chance to enjoy life again.