Abstract # 72:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 02:45 PM-04:45 PM: Session 16 (Medallion Ballroom B) Symposium


CHALLENGES FACING CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARIES

S. R. Ross
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60202, USA
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There are over 1300 chimpanzees living in sanctuaries in Africa and the United States and that number increases considerably each year. In Africa, where chimpanzees are illegally hunted for bushmeat, orphan infants are sold as pets in local markets, and if fortunate, confiscated by local authorities and brought to a sanctuary. In the U.S., chimpanzees arrive at sanctuaries from a variety of sources, including those retired from biomedical facilities, and those who have outgrown their management as pets and performers. The chimpanzees’ complex social system, intelligence and physical strength present many challenges to providing adequate housing, particularly for adults. Additionally, the long life span of chimpanzees exacerbates the management and financial burden of providing long-term care for these individuals; the costs of their care can easily reach $750,000 over a chimpanzee’s lifetime, and put considerable burden on those dedicated to providing their lifetime care. Finally, there are inherent management challenges in integrating individuals with atypical early life histories such as those from pet, performer and bushmeat trade backgrounds. Today, the sanctuary system, both in Africa and the U.S., is at a saturation point. The influx of chimpanzees far outweighs the available spaces to meet the demand. In this session, we will discuss the range of management challenges facing the sanctuary community as we strive for the provision of appropriate lifetime care for this critically important species.