Since 1998 Born Free Foundation has supported the dedicated team at Ngamba Island, a chimpanzee sanctuary located on Lake Victoria in Uganda. Ngamba Island is currently home to over 40 chimpanzees (including Afrika, pictured) rescued from the horrific bushmeat or pet trades.
Many of these chimpanzees will have seen their parents and families killed in front of them, and often arrive on the island traumatised and malnourished. In an ideal world rescue centres would not be necessary but for now, for these individuals, Ngamba Island offers them a second chance at a peaceful life in the company of other chimps.
It is great, therefore, to hear stories about their antics and adventures:
Bwambale wishes Cocoa a good night...
One evening after the chimps had returned from the forest and taken their porridge, one of the rescued chimps Nkumwa decided that she wanted another chimp, Cocoa's, hammock. However, when Bwambale saw this he quickly jumped in and made Nkumwa leave the hammock. This allowed Cocoa the opportunity to enjoy the hammock safe in the knowledge that Nkumwa would not disturb her again and that her ‘knight' was in the next hammock. Bwambale is a 15-year old male found as a very small baby in a sugar plantation and then kept as a family pet for two years. Following his rescue he was taken to the centre where he has lived ever since.
Many years ago when he was just a baby, Bwambale used to be Born Free's adopted chimp, as was Nkumwa. However as they flourished and grew on the island, we went on to adopt two newly rescued chimps, first Afrika (pictured) and now her ‘little sister' Sara.