Posted in 10/07/2008

Fifteen chimpanzees who used to live at CCC Sanctuary (Center for the Conservation of Chimpanzees) at Guinea Republic were released at the forest after rehabiliation work that lasted more than 5 years. The group, which is formed by 6 males and 9 females, was released at National Park of Upper Niger on June 27th and by now they are already enjoying a large ammount of the territory.

According to Estelle Raballand, Director of the Sanctuary, "they are using an area of 4 square kilometers and are completely independent from us". And adds: "we have been putting additional food in case they need it, but they are not getting it".
The chimpanzees are using radio frequency transmission necklaces and will be monitored by satellites and VHF during the next 5 years. Preliminary information indicate that the males have been dividing themselves in two groups and females are the ones who are advancing more rapidly thorugh the territory.
According to PASA Executive Director, Doug Cress, "this is a historical event for chimpanzees in Africa". "PASA Sanctuaries were the unique places that the chimpanzees who were rescued from poaching or hunters could go. But now there is a possibility that free life can be considered as their final destiny, allowing to give them back to nature, to enrich nature with them".

Help-Congo Sanctuary was the first one which launched chimpanzees release programmes, in 1996. By that time 37 chimpanzees were given back to Congo Republic Forests and 62% of them survived. Plus, 6 babies were born, including two twins.