Christelle Colin, Director
Kanda, one of the chimps at CCC
Located in the heart of the Haut Niger National Park in Guinea, Chimpanzee Conservation Centre (CCC) was established in 1997 to address increasing declines in wild chimpanzee populations in West Africa, and Guinea in particular.
CCC is key to the conservation and welfare of wild chimpanzees in Guinea and provides sanctuary for those confiscated as a result of law-enforcement activities that fight the illegal international trade in baby chimpanzees. The are manly smuggled for the exotic pet trade. CCC provides rescued chimps with the care they need during their rehabilitation programme which includes integrating them into social groups in a natural environment and generally preparing them for their release back into the wild. This process can take as long as 10 years.
CCC is one of only two projects in Africa to have successfully rehabilitated and released chimpanzees. The Centre also provides life-time care for chimps who can never go back to the wild due to serious social and physiological issues.
CCC's presence in the Park, mainly through their release programme, actively contributes to the overall protection of the Haut Niger National Park and its wildlife which includes not only wild chimpanzees but many other species such as leopard and the small populations of highly endangered lion in West Africa. CCC also operate a successful education outreach programme that aims to mitigate human/wildlife conflict, and a research and monitoring programme that contributes to the overall conservation of wild chimpanzees in Africa.
What the Chimpanzee Conservation Centre does
Rescue and rehabilitate orphaned chimpanzees confiscated by the Guinean government, and provide them with the best possible care
Facilitate the work of the government in their fight to combat illegal trafficking of chimpanzees, by providing sanctuary to confiscated chimps
When possible, release chimpanzees back into the wild after completion of a rehabilitation process
Monitor released troops and continue to research areas suitable for future releases sites
Educate local communities and the general/international public on the threats faced by wild chimpanzee populations which, in turn, contributes towards the prevention of illegal wildlife trafficking
How Olsen Animal Trust helps
In response to an urgent appeal relating to an imminent arrest of illegal wildlife traffickers, OAT provided necessary funding for the building of four new quarantine enclosures at CCC. This facilitated the rescue and care of four chimps that were confiscated following the arrest of the trafficker who was holding them
Following a personal visit to the project, OAT are providing further funding to enable CCC to upgrade and expand their sanctuary facilities
In conjunction with CCC, OAT also facilitated the release of five baboons into the Haut Niger National Park. These primates were confiscated by authorities as it is illegal to keep them in captivity in Guinea, but they had no suitable solution for their care. With the help of Dr. Cheryl Mvula MBE, the baboons we given a better quality of life whilst they were prepared for their release. They were successfully released back into a remote area of the park in the summer of 2018
Project Images - hover over for details
Hawa was rescued from this wooden box. Many chimps spend days traveling in these horrific and cramped conditions as they pass along the illegal wildlife trade chain.
A rescued chimp receives medical care
Many of the chimps which come to the Centre are in urgent need of medical care. Sadly, some have permanent physical and mental problems as a result of their prior ordeals.
Walking the troop
The orphaned troop on their daily excursion, learning how to forage and interact in preparation for eventual release.
Living wild and free
Once the chimps are fully reintroduced into the wild, CCC continue to monitor them to record the success of the programme. This is done by a team of researchers located at the remote release sites. The current release troop is doing really well and has already reproduced, which is great news!
Dave, our OATOKE's visit
When Dave, our OATOKE, first visited CCC, he was the first donor to visit for 14 years! After a quarantine period, and lots of lessons in chimp behaviour, he was able, under strict supervision, to assist with the care of the baby chimps. Human interaction and love is a crucial part of their upbringing. It is what their mothers, who would have been killed in the process of the baby's capture, would have provided in a natural environment.
Sadly, some of the older, more humanised chimps will live out their days at the sanctuary. Coco was a hotel "prop' for most of his life, taught to smoke cigarettes and drink beer to entertain the guests. Although he will never know true freedom, OAT have funded the construction of a new and large enclosure to ensure he has the best possible retirement in a new and enlarged enclosure with an enriched outdoor facility.
Coco's new enclosure
With OAT's help experts have been drafted in from Cameroon to build a state of the art, escape proof enclosure for Coco and the other chimps who require lifetime care. This large space will give the chimps the freedom to live as natural a life as possible and integrate with other chimps for companionship.
CCC team with their OAT shirts and caps
This was Dave, our OATOKE's, second visit to CCC. Here he is with primate expert Cheryl Mvula (pictured here on the right) and the CCC staff wearing their OAT caps and t-shirts. One of the side purposes of this trip was to facilitate the release of seven baboons, confiscated and held by National Parks. Their was a successful outcome to this mission and these lucky baboons are now living back in the wild where they belong.
Dave with Dave!
During his latest trip to Guinea Dave (human) was keen to see how Dave (chimp) was adjusting to life at CCC after being rescued in 2016 with OAT's help. Dave (chimp) was doing really well and is fully integrated into a troop.
For further information on the work of Chimpanzee Conservation Centre please visit www.projetprimates.com