Help take care of over a hundred chimpanzees in the biggest chimp sanctuary in the world! Interact with orphaned chimps, assist with behavioural research initiatives, behavioural enrichment activities, infrastructure development and community farming initiatives. Chimfunshi is a family-run wildlife orphanage in northern Zambia.It was founded in 1983 when a game ranger brought a badly wounded infant chimpanzee to the cattle ranch of David and Sheila
Siddle, a British couple who had lived along the Zambian copperbelt since the 1950s. The Siddles nursed the chimp – nicknamed "Pal" – back to health, and in doing so established a tradition of care and respect which are the cornerstones of the sanctuary. Once word of Pal’s recovery spread, the Siddles found themselves inundated with orphaned chimpanzees. Although many are confiscated from poachers who attempt to smuggle the infants into Zambia for sale as pets, an equally large number are rescued from dilapidated zoos and circuses from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
In 2002, an Education Centre was built as a facility for teaching Zambian youth about ecology and wildlife conservation. It is also used by local and international students researching group behaviour and ethnic studies. On occasion volunteers will assist with conservation education to the school groups.
What to Expect?
Conservation travellers work hard to provide extra stimulation for these chimpanzees and this is what is called ‘Behavioural Enrichment'. Behavioural Enrichment helps to keep the chimps both physically and mentally active.
Behavioural Enrichment tasks may include:
- Making/constructing permanent behavioural enrichment structures/toys to entertain the chimpanzees (such as tyre swings, shaking boxes etc.)
- Making temporary toys/challenges for chimpanzees (often food based) to keep the chimpanzees occupied
- Taping food to walls in difficult to reach places so that the chimpanzees must improvise to get the food
- Filling drilled holes (in logs) with porridge to replicate termiting behaviour and providing the chimpanzees with sticks to fish them out
- Simply providing company to the enclosed chimpanzees helps to enrich their lives
- Program ID: # 2204
- duration: 2 Weeks to 1 Month1 to 3 Months
- location: Ndola (NLA) KafueZambia15° 46' 15.9924" S, 28° 11' 7.53" EZM
- Fitness level: Light Impact
- Closest Airport: Lusaka
- Costs From: $1500 to $3000
- Program Type: Environmental & Wildlife Programs
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