Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Orphanage
David and Sheila Siddle retired to a farm at Chimfunshi in the late seventies and in 1983, Sheila received a young chimpanzee confiscated from Zairean poachers. Caring for the tortured and malnutritioned animal meant that the gateway towards a chimpanzee orphanage was opened, and there are now over 100 rescued chimps (as well as ones born onsite). A small collection of other animals is present as well, depending on what Chimfunshi are asked to look after – Billy the tame, adult hippo is a prime example, living at the sanctuary since she was 10 days old!
Whilst chimpanzees are not typically residdent here, they seem to fare well in the forest and woodland provided – considering the cruelty from which they’ve been rescued, almost any alternative will do and Chimfunshi Chimpanzee Orphanage staff do what they can in the circumstances.
Today this is a world renowned sanctuary that survives on love and dedication. First and foremost a sanctuary, it struggles by on donations and the hard work of the keepers…it has recently started allowing access to tourists in order to find another venue of income. Accommodation is self-catered and basic (several thatched chalets), but the rewards of being involved in a project as necessary as this one are more than compensation.
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