An agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute established the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary to provide a lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. Over the last decade, the sanctuary is compelled to accept chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations – bringing the total number of chimpanzees in the sanctuary to 37. Many are confiscated from cramped and unnatural living conditions, and many arrive with horrific injuries sustained from abuse at the hands of humans. Here at Sweetwaters, they get a chance to start over.
With 24-hour veterinary support and a stimulating quarantine enclosure, chimpanzees arriving at the sanctuary are carefully nursed back to health. When they are ready, they are introduced into one of the two large groups at the Sanctuary, who live in vast natural enclosures separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River. The chimps have set feeding times and return to their indoor enclosures at night – but other than that they spend their days exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again.