Situated within the beautiful 1,000 hectare Umhloti Nature Reserve, 15 kilometres outside Nelspruit, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) South Africa Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to chimps that have been misplaced from their natural habitats in Africa.
Chimp Eden was established in 2006 and is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa. This JGI chimpanzee sanctuary brings the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education end eco-tourism.
The chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) is considered to be the closest relative to humans and is “Endangered’ under a strict application of the IUCN Red List Criteria (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and is listed in Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Chimpanzees in the wild may be extinct within the next 10 - 20 years if current trends cannot be reversed.
The goal of the chimpanzee sanctuary is to rescue chimpanzees that have survived the bush meat trade, been orphaned, traded in the illegal pet market, or rescued from being traumatised for entertainment in circuses, beach resorts and night clubs.
The chimpanzees at Chimp Eden are the lucky ones, living out their lives in a risk free environment and being provided with the necessary attention to recover from the trauma they have experienced. The chimpanzees spend their days in semi-wild enclosures, and show normal social interaction and behavioural patterns as group members.
There are currently three different chimp groups and enclosures at the South African sanctuary. There are viewpoints overlooking the forest and “foraging areas’ from which visitors and volunteers can observe and study the chimpanzees.
Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr Goodall's pioneering research on chimpanzee behaviour. This research transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. The South African chimpanzee sanctuary is proud to be part of the Jane Good Institute, which is a global leader in the effort to conserve and preserve endangered species and habitats, and in particular chimpanzees.
The JGI is also widely recognised for establishing innovative community-centred conservation and development programmes in Africa. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Institute's global environmental and humanitarian youth programme, has groups in more than 120 countries.
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