Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Seeing chimpanzees swinging from the tree tops or minding their own business was a joy on a visit to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. After a steep climb up a muddy hill we finally reached the top leading to the sanctuary entrance.
Founded in 1995 by conservationist Bala and Sharmila Amarasekaran; to enforce wildlife laws and rescue and rehabilitate critically endangered orphaned Western chimpanzees before being released back into the wild when healed.
Throughout the sanctuary we were guided by Mr Emmanuel a site worker. He could even identify each chimp by adopted name and their circumstances. The tours are 1hr, cost 100 Le
We were given an outline about Tacugama before taking various routes by foot seeing the different sets of chimps. The chimps are enclosed in different surroundings or sections depending on purpose and age. The chimps had suffered by some kind of mental trauma. It is sad to hear many of the reasons why they had been rescued – based on mistreated by their owners, injured, malnourished or disabled; abandoned or illegally sold as pets by poachers. On arrival to the sanctuary they are quarantined for 3 months.
Nurtured, cared and fed with healthy diet and authorized by vet to move to the nursery with other chimps to form bonds and fed with milk. The nursery compound is surrounded by electric fence to prevent escape. The chimps are also transferred to integration compounds and monitored to see if accepted by peer groups of chimps. They go through these traumatization stages until they are well and can be returned back into the wild.
Did you know – Chimps share 98.6% of their DNA with humans.
Don’t forget to add Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary as a place to visit in Sierra Leone. If you are a nature enthusiast you can even stay in one of the 6 Eco lodges, book a hike or bird watching. Sponsoring/adopting is also available. https://www.tacugama.com/tour/
Bless Sister E