Meet the Chimpanzees

Ajabu

Gender: Female
DOB: 2008
Origin: Sweetwaters
Ajabu means 'surprise' in Kiswahili, and that is exactly what this baby chimpanzee was! No one was aware that her mother, Mwanzo, was pregnant when Ajabu was born on March 30, 2008. She is the first of the second generation of chimpanzees born at Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, and was the lone baby in the group for a long time. She is doted on by all the other chimpanzees and growing up to be a very nice, even-tempered chimpanzee. Ajabu is a youngster with abundant energy and can usually be found running around playing or getting a piggyback ride from one of the nannies in her group especially Cheetah or Eva

Akela

Gender: Female
DOB: 1988
Origin: Burundi
Akela, a victim of pet trade, was kept in a small cage in an apartment as a pet for children.  It was first thought she suffered from some kind of neurological problem as her behaviour was very unusual and she seemed unsteady and uncoordinated.  When Akela first arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary she was insecure but over time she has grown in confidence and is now a relaxed, happy chimpanzee who loves to play with the babies and has taken on the role of foster mother to Jane. Akela is a very nice chimpanzee and will readily welcome new members into the group.

Ali Kaka

Gender: Male
DOB: 2002
Origin: South Sudan
Ali Kaka was kept as a pet by the army in South Sudan. In 2003, when Ali Kaka was just 1 1/2 years old, the soldiers heard chimpanzees were being rescued and sent to Kenya. One of the soldiers carried Ali Kaka on his shoulders all the way to the town of Yambio to get him on that flight to Kenya. Ali Kaka is such a sweet, kind-natured chimpanzee who loves to clap his hands and perform somersaults to get attention. He has developed amazing social ties, gets along with everyone at the Sanctuary, and may very well be alpha male someday.

Alley

Gender: Female
DOB: 1987
Origin: Burundi
Alley is one of the few chimpanzees at the Sweetwaters Sanctuary who came from a good home. From her private home, she was taken to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi, and from there she made her way to Kenya. Alley is one of the smartest chimpanzees at the Sanctuary and has mastered the art of using stick tools. She is also quite a mischievous escape artist, and claps or spits when she wants something - she knows how to keep us on our toes! Alley is one of the nannies for the group, as well as a foster mother to Victoria, and can often be found caring for the young ones.

Amahirwe

Gender: Male
DOB: 1998
Origin: Rwanda
Amahirwe came to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary from Rwanda, where he had spent four years under the care of some people running a research station at Karisoke.  He was originally confiscated at Kigali Airport in 2001 when somebody tried to check him in as excess luggage to Belgium! When Amahirwe arrived in Kenya, he was quarantined at the KWS headquarters before being brought to Sweetwaters. Amahirwe was very shy when he first got here but has developed really well and is now one of the high-ranking males. He is a very social chimpanzee who doesn't like to be alone and can always be found in a large group.

Amisero

Gender: Female
DOB: 1989
Origin: Burundi
Amisero, 'Ami' for short, means hope in Kirundi.  Ami was found at the same residence as Sultana. She was found sitting in a pool of diarrhoea and vomit; dehydrated, thin and critically ill.  For the next 24 hours she was placed on a drip and was on the brink of death. However, her health gradually improved and she found a new lease of life at Sweetwaters.  Ami has grown to be a caring character and one of the high-ranking females in the group. She uses her position to maintain peace among the chimpanzees.

 

 

Angela

Gender: Female
DOB: 2011
Origin: Sweetwaters
Angela was as much of a surprise as her older sister Ajabu. Born on 25th April 2011, no one was aware her mother Mwanzo was pregnant as she was on contraceptives. Like her sister, Angela is light skinned and sweet natured. She is a very cheerful chimpanzee who loves to have fun and everyone always wants to play with her, even big high-ranking males! Mwanzo is a great mother and Angela is a very happy and healthy youngster.

.

Bahati

Gender: Female
DOB: 1993
Origin: Burundi
Bahati means 'luck' in Kiswahili. In July 1994, Bahati was found by a local Burundian tied to a wooden post in a small mud hut, apparently up for sale. The vendor offered to sell Bahati to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi, where the authorities were called and he was arrested. Bahati was taken into their care and her health quickly improved.  She was brought to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1996 and has adapted very well. She is a low ranking chimpanzee and stays by herself sometimes to avoid conflict. She is very inquisitive and loves to go off exploring the Sanctuary.

Cheetah

Gender: Female
DOB: 1987
Origin: Burundi

Cheetah was purchased as an infant from a Zairian vendor by a Belgian couple living in Bujumbura. They purchased her in an attempt to improve her health as she was a very small and sick infant.  After three years they gave her up to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi.  Cheetah is a friendly chimpanzee and the other females in the group respect her. She is very social and has proven to be a good foster mother to Zee, Victoria and Ajabu. Cheetah also loves attention and will spit at you to get it.

Chippie

Gender: Female
DOB: 1991
Origin: Zaire
Chippie means 'spoiled, cheeky woman' in French.  On the 15th of July 1992 Chippie was confiscated at Kigali airport in Rwanda together with an Eastern Lowland Gorilla baby as they were being illegally exported from Zaire.  They were both kept at the Volcano Veterinary Centre in Rwanda until the 19th of November 1992 when Chippie was taken to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi.  When she eventually arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, she was psychologically stressed, insecure, and had a severe fear of men. She has been getting better each year and now loves to climb very high trees, often sitting there even through heavy downpours. Chippie is extremely close to Amisero, following her wherever she goes.

Dufatanye

Gender: Female
DOB: 1991
Origin: Burundi

Dufatanya, 'Dufa' for short, means 'co-operation' in Kirundi.  Dufa was confiscated by the authorities in a suburb of Bujumbura on the 6th of June 1992 as a local businessman tried to sell her off. She was very afraid and expressed this by biting everything and everybody in sight. As a result she earned the nickname 'black fur ball with teeth'. Dufa has since calmed down and is a very strong-willed character.  She gets along well with all the chimpanzees but is especially close to Cumbo and William.

Edward

Gender: Male
DOB: 2000
Origin: Cameroon

Edward was one of five chimpanzees that were confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on January 31, 2005. Along with the Julia, Jane, Romeo and Victoria. As soon as they were found, the chimps was taken to the KWS veterinary unit for health examinations and quarantine. All five chimpanzees were in very bad physical condition; severely malnourished and dehydrated. The origin of these chimpanzees is not known for sure but it is thought that they may have come from Cameroon. Edward and Julia were the bigger of the five, both being about 2 years old when they were confiscated. They joined in easily with the rest of the youngsters at the sanctuary. Edward is a very nice tempered chimpanzee who hates fights and avoids confrontation at all cost.

George

Gender: Male
DOB: 2003
Origin: Mozambique
George was found bundled up in barbed wire for sale on the side of a road in Mozambique. He was taken to South Africa and from there was brought to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  He arrived at Sweetwaters on 31st May 2005 in good health and was mentally very strong and secure.  He was not used to other chimpanzees and appeared very lonely in the beginning. He later found a good friend in Ali Kaka and together they were introduced into one of the family groups. George is quite playful with abundant energy and can always be found running wild with playmates Victoria and Julia. George is also very close to Poco and doesn't enter the house without him.

Jane

Gender: Female
DOB: 2003
Origin: Cameroon
Jane was one of five chimpanzees that were confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on January 31, 2005. Along with Julia, Edward, Romeo and Victoria, Jane was taken to the KWS veterinary unit for tests and quarantine. Jane had a shot-gun pellet lodged in her middle finger on the right hand. The bullet was removed through a minor operation soon after she arrived at Sweetwaters. The five infant Chimpanzees were severely malnourished and dehydrated, and a lot of work was put into improving their health. Jane was successfully introduced into one of the adult groups where she has Joy as a playmate and Akela as a surrogate mother.

JoJo

Gender: Female
DOB: 1984
Origin: Burundi
Jojo was transferred to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi on the 3rd of May 1991 when her previous owner agreed to give her up. She arrived there in a small cage in the back of a van.  Jojo had lived for 5 - 6 years in the Asian quarters of Bujumbura with her owner who had bought her from a vendor as a baby.  She was well fed but kept in extremely poor living conditions with little to no social contact. Jojo was quite aggressive and confused when she first arrived at the Jane Goodall Institute and exhibited behaviour such as pacing up and down.  She was later transferred to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary where she settled in very well. Jojo is wary of young chimpanzees and prefers the company of older males such as Poco and Socrates.

Joy

Gender: Female
DOB: 2004
Origin: Sweetwaters
Joy was born at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and is the daughter of Tess and alpha male Niyonkuru. Although the pregnancy was unplanned, her arrival brought a positive change to the group and brought them closer together. The whole group is very protective of Joy, with the females constantly enjoying the opportunity to carry her and groom her, but never away from the watchful eye of her mother. Joy loves nothing more than getting piggyback rides from the females in the group and enjoys the protection of her high-ranking mother, Tess.

Judy

Gender: Female
DOB: 1983
Origin: Kenya
Judy was confiscated in Mombasa, along with two other chimpanzees that were found in transit with a person who claimed he had found them abandoned in Zaire. Judy and the other chimpanzees were taken to the orphanage in Nairobi where they lived until Judy was brought to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1993. Judy appears to have suffered from polio as a baby, and as a result has a withered leg. However, this has not stopped her from turning into a healthy adult chimpanzee who is now mother to alpha male Oscar. She is very supportive of her son and is one of the reasons he is the dominant male. Judy can always be found close to Oscar grooming him or just looking out for him.

Julia

Gender: Female
DOB: 2000
Origin: Cameroon
Julia was one of five chimpanzees that were confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on January 31, 2005. Along with Edvard, Jane, Romeo and Victoria, Julia was taken to the KWS veterinary unit for tests and quarantine. Julia had to initially be treated with antibiotic injections for a week, for acute pneumonia. Julia was one of the bigger chimps of the five, being about 2 years old when they were confiscated, and is a sort of protector to younger chimps to this day. Julia is very playful, hunting bush bucks and warthogs and using them as dolls.

Kisazose

Gender: Male
DOB: 1993
Origin: Burundi
Kisazose, 'Kiza' for short, means 'protection of everything' in Kirundi.  He arrived at the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi on the 11th of October 1994, having been confiscated from a Zairian vendor.  When he arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, he was very ill; malnourished, dehydrated, anaemic and covered in lice.  He also had a very poor appetite but with proper care he has slowly recovered.  Kiza is very strong-minded and lets you know when he doesn't like something.  Like his name, he is a protector and always guards his group from baboons and warthogs.

Mary

Gender: Female
DOB: 2003
Origin: South Sudan
Mary arrived at Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary from Southern Sudan together with Eva and Saidia in October 2003. She had a very large tummy and would not stop eating.  She had been found in the market for sale and was confiscated by the authorities.  Mary was very insecure for a long time and tended to cling to people.  She is now much more confident and interacts well with the other chimpanzees though she can be quite bossy. Mary and Saidia are extremely close and can always be found together.

.

Max

Gender: Male
DOB: 1988
Origin: Burundi
Max spent his first years with a French film crew from whom he was confiscated in 1990.  When he first arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary his physical condition was poor and he was very nervous and aggressive.  His insecurities led him to form a close and special relationship with the night watchman- to this day he gravitates toward men in uniform. Max tends to be solitary; however, he has developed close ties with Socrates and they can sometimes be found sitting together. Max also has a bit of a naughty streak and sometimes ends up in sticky situations!

Mwanzo

Gender: Female
DOB: 1996
Origin: Sweetwaters
Mwanzo was born at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Her mother is Sultana and her father is Ndaronse. She was the first baby to be born at Sweetwaters so was appropriately named Mwanzo, which means 'the first' in Kiswahili. Mwanzo's birth had a great impact in helping to bond the group. She is now a mother herself, having given birth to Ajabu on the 30th March 2008 and Angela on 25th April 2011. Mwanzo is very protective of her daughters and gets aggressive when anyone gets too close to them.

.

Ndarose

Gender: Male
DOB: 1988
Origin: Burundi
Ndaronse in Kirundi means 'I have found peace'.  He was confiscated by the authorities in Burundi from a house in Bujumbura and handed over to the Jane Goodall Institute.  Ndaronse was found attached to a small wooden box in the backyard of a house with a large heavy chain around his neck.  It took Ndaronse several days before he gained enough confidence in the staff at the Jane Goodall Institute to allow them to remove his chain. The chain weighed 12 kg! Ndaronse is missing the middle finger on his right hand and he has a large scar just below his knee, most likely caused by a snare.  Ndaronse is an easy chimpanzee to recognize as his skin is lighter in colour then the others.  Ndaronse was the alpha male of his group until July 2010 when he was ousted by his son Oscar in a long power struggle. Ndaronse has no hard feelings against his son and even helps him maintain peace and his position.

Niyonkuru

Gender: Male
DOB: 1990
Origin: Burundi
'Niyon' for short, his name means 'God is the highest' in Kirundi.  Niyonkuru was confiscated from a vendor who had gone to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi offering him for sale.  He arrived in very poor physical and mental condition, was depressed and listless, and the rope used to tether him had made deep wounds on his thighs.  Niyonkuru has since made a full recovery and is the alpha male of his group. Like his name, Niyon acts like a god, ruling the group with an iron fist.

.

Oscar

Gender: Male
DOB: 1997
Origin: Sweewaters
Oscar was born at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  His mother is Judy and his father is Ndaronse, who was the then alpha male in the larger group. He looks like his father as they share the same light skin colour. He is currently the alpha male in the larger group, having ousted his father in a long power struggle spanning over half a year. Muscular and aggressive, Oscar is the 'bad boy' of the group. He is eager to retain his position at the top and wrestles other male chimpanzees to demonstrate his power. Oscar also has a nice streak and will sometimes play with youngster Ajabu. Oscar's all time favourite activity is grooming.

Poco

Gender: Male
DOB: 1980
Origin: Burundi
Of all our chimpanzees, Poco's history is perhaps the most tragic. He spent the first 9 years of his life in a cage suspended above a workshop in Burundi. Confined and used to attract customers, Poco had so little space he was only able to sit or stand on two legs - quite unnatural for a chimpanzee. Even today, Poco will still stand on his hind legs, especially when showing off to visitors. Poco arrived to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1995 and has made great progress. He really likes people and will strut or throw sticks to get the attention of visitors. Poco is one of our more gentle chimpanzees, and his bipedal swagger ensures he stands out from the crowd!

Romeo

Gender: Male
DOB: 2004
Origin: Cameroon
Romeo was one of five chimpanzees that were confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on January 31, 2005. Along with the Julia, Edvard, Jane and Victoria, Romeo was taken to the KWS veterinary unit for tests and quarantine.  All five chimpanzees were in very bad physical condition. Romeo had an old injury of two broken toes on his left foot and was taken for an X-ray, but the injury was too old to treat.  The toes eventually healed and he now walks normally. At the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Romeo settled in well with the rest of the youngsters. Romeo is a shy young chimp but gets very playful when with his closest friend Roy

Roy

Gender: Male
DOB: 2009
Origin: Zaire
Roy was rescued from Rumbek, Southern Sudan on Friday 2nd October 2009 and was housed at the KWS quarantine facility for health monitoring and observation. He was then transferred to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary on 14 December 2009. He is believed to have originated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, probably orphaned by the illegal bushmeat trade and illegally transported to Southern Sudan. He was confiscated by the Wildlife Conservation Administration of Sudan and handed over to volunteers who cared for him while a Sanctuary was identified to transfer him to. Roy has adapted wonderfully at Sweetwaters and is a happy and healthy chimpanzee. He is a very playful chimpanzee making friends easily and is extremely good friends with Romeo.

Safari

Gender: Male
DOB: 1984
Origin: Burundi
When Safari first arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary his behaviour was understandably neurotic and frantic. He had spent the first years of his life in a hotel, in a small dark outdoor cage where he was relentlessly teased by unsympathetic tourists. He was taken to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi in 1989 when the hotel manager had to return to Belgium. As soon as he was introduced to the other chimpanzees at Sweetwaters, his behaviour changed and he became a happy, playful and sometimes cheeky chimpanzee. Safari spent time as the alpha male of his group, but has now been replaced by Ndaronse. He now spends his time in retirement with close friends Poco and Socrates.

Saidia

Gender: Female
DOB: 2004
Origin: South Sudan

Saidia arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in October 2003 from Yambio in Southern Sudan, along with Mary and Eva. She was no more than a month old and could not crawl and could hardly cling on to anything.  She had suffered from severe burns on the back of her head and down her back. The sores were healing but all her hair had to be shaved off in order to clean and treat the wounds.  Saidia had been brought from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a mango basket, lying on her back because she could not hold on. The people who brought her claimed they had found her in the forest. She still has a bald patch on her back that you can identify her with and is very close to Mary who she spends all her time with..

Socrates

Gender: Male
DOB: 1980
Origin: Burundi
Like an orphan being passed from one foster home to another, Socrates spent 5 years in Bujumbura being passed from home to home. Finally the housing at the Jane Goodall Institute was ready and he was taken there in 1989. He was one of the first chimpanzees to arrive at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1993. He was very subdued and inactive but soon started to recover when he was introduced to the other chimpanzees. Socrates is definitely the philosopher of the group preferring to spend time on his own but he also spends time playing with the babies in the group.

Sultana

Gender: Female
DOB: 1985
Origin: Burundi
Sultana was taken to the Jane Goodall Institute in Burundi in 1992 after she was found chained to a tree at the same residence as Amisero. Food was thrown at her as people were too afraid to go near. When Sultana first arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary she was terrified of the other chimpanzees and would scream and cling to her keepers through the bars of the chimpanzee house. However, she soon settled down and started to interact with the other chimpanzees.  Today she is a very proud mother to our first born baby, Mwanzo and a ferociously protective grandmother to Ajabu and Angela.

Tess

Gender: Female
DOB: 1992
Origin: Kenya
Tess was found on sale in a market place looking miserable and malnourished. She was taken and kept as a pet with a family in Nairobi. Tess came to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1995 and is now a mother to a baby named Joy who was born in 2004. Tess is a high-ranking female who loves eating and socializing. She protects the younger chimpanzees in the group and is well respected by everyone.

Uruhara

Gender: Male
DOB: 1989
Origin: Burundi
Uruhara means 'bald' in Kirundi. Uruhara was kept in a small cage as a pet. 'Uru' as he is affectionately called at Sweetwaters, was in very bad condition when he arrived and had lost almost all the hair on his head.  At first he was insecure and frightened but his confidence soon grew as did his hair. He has the most amazing facial expressions and enjoys making faces at people.

.

Victoria

Gender: Female
DOB: 2004
Origin: Cameroon
Victoria was one of five chimpanzees that were confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on January 31, 2005. Along with Jane, Julia, Edvard and Romeo, Victoria was taken to the KWS veterinary unit for tests and quarantine.  Victoria had a shot gun pellet lodged in her skull, which had fortunately not penetrated through to the bone.  The bullet was removed through a minor operation soon after she arrived at Sweetwaters. Victoria was successfully introduced into one of the adult groups where Alley became her surrogate mother. Victoria shares a special bond with Julia, Mary and Saidia and they all hang out together a lot.

William

Gender: Male
DOB: 2000
Origin: Sudan
William arrived at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in March 2003. He was rescued from Nimule, a border town between Uganda and Sudan. Before William came to the sanctuary he was kept at a catholic relief missionary. Although he was kept in a cage, he was properly fed and watered.  William was successfully introduced into one of the adult groups in the sanctuary. He is a high ranking male who aggressively seeks to attain power and challenges the alpha male every so often.

Zee

Gender: Male
DOB: 2000
Origin: United Arab Emirates
Zee was confiscated in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on January 30th, 2002. He only weighed 2kg and was very dehydrated.  He was eventually brought to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary on June 20th 2002.  After regaining health, he was introduced to the other chimpanzees and has never looked back. Zee likes hanging out with the youngster females Mary, Saidia and Vicky, so he can dominate them.