The Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimpanzee Eden
Just outside the city of Nelspruit is a unique sanctuary and attraction in South Africa that protects and conserves through educating the public and offering a safe environment for chimpanzees. It is the only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa. The institute takes in chimpanzees from around world, that have been taken from their natural environments at a young age and now find themselves lost and without refuge. The Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimpanzee Eden rescues and takes care of these chimpanzees, and through their efforts they save countless lives each year.
Due to deforestation, hunting and the use of chimpanzees in laboratories, as circus performers and as pets, it is estimated that chimpanzees could be extinct within the next ten years. The Jane Goodall Institute has erected sanctuaries in various locations in Africa to give these magnificent animals the opportunity to recover from traumas suffered and a second chance at life. Conserving chimpanzees for future generations, fighting against their extinction and unconditional love and passion for chimpanzees is what drives the dedicated staff at The Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimpanzee Eden.
The thousand hectare reserve offers the chimpanzees semi-wild enclosures, where they are taken care of, but can still enjoy the freedom and fun that their natural habitats would have given them. The chimpanzees are placed into the enclosures as a group, so they are able to interact naturally, and visitors are therefore able to experience the group dynamics of a chimpanzee family. Foraging areas around the enclosures give chimpanzees the independence of “finding” their own food, and brings visitors closer to the chimpanzees, as these areas also centralize them, making them easier to see. To keep Chimpanzee Eden running and the work they do going, they depend on the generosity of the public through donations and volunteers who give of their time. The Adopt a Chimp program has also aided in raising funds that are used towards rescue efforts and transportation of chimps to the facility. Rehabilitation and research are ongoing at the sanctuary so as to help chimpanzees adjust and to find better ways to assist the chimpanzees in the sanctuary as well as in the wild. Visiting The Jane Goodall Institute’s Chimpanzee Eden is not only an enjoyable experience but enables love, life and safety to be given to the many chimpanzees still in need.