In Africa, sanctuaries receive mostly orphaned baby chimps that are victims of the bushmeat trade. When adults are killed for meat, the surviving infants are often offered for sale as pets, and those rescued by law enforcement are taken to the sanctuaries. There are about 20 sanctuaries in Africa that collectively care for over 670 chimps, 80 gorillas, 40 bonobos, and large numbers of monkeys. Some of these sanctuaries can be visited, and others welcome volunteers. All of them need donations and support as the numbers of orphans they receive continue to multiply. Learn more about each of the African sanctuaries, and watch this video that illustrates the work that they do.
Sanctuaries in the United States and Canada primarily receive orphaned chimpanzees that have outgrown their former roles as pets and actors, or that are retired from years of cruel medical experimentation. Like African sanctuaries, some accept volunteers, and all need donations. Their websites describe each of the chimp individuals they care for and provide their stories – often along with wonderful videos and photos. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to reintroduce captive or orphaned chimps to the wild because they lack the skills wild chimps learn as infants and juveniles, and because there are now so few untouched forests that they can survive in. When the wild is no longer an option, sanctuaries provide a safe haven for chimps who have outgrown their former roles as pets, actors, rescued lab chimps, and infant chimpanzees orphaned by the bushmeat trade.