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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Chimpanzee From Iran Arrives in Kenyan Sanctuary

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Chimpanzee Sanctuary – Sweetwaters, Kenya Wildlife Service, Iranian Embassy in Kenya and Eram Zoo work together to give new home to endangered ape. The illegal trade in great apes – for pets and for meat – is a multi-billion-dollar industry that threatens the future of chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas.

Infants captured from the wild are often destined for the illegal pet trade, zoos or circuses, typically in the Middle East or Persian Gulf. Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, which hosts a sanctuary specifically for rescued chimpanzees, often works to repatriate illegally exported chimpanzees to Africa and give them a new life in a semi-wild environment and amongst their own.

Four-year-old Baran is the new addition to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. She was born prematurely in 2017 at Tehran’s main wildlife centre. Unfortunately, Baran’s mother wasn’t able to fully bond with her when she was a bit older, and she wasn’t accepted by the other chimpanzees.

After her mother died, Baran was moved into a cage for her protection.Baran’s relocation to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary comes after months-long collaborative efforts between Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Eram Zoo, Kenya Wildlife Service, Iranian Embassy officials and other animal welfare organisations.

These efforts were fuelled by concerns over the welfare of Baran as she did not have any other chimpanzees to socialise with, which can potentially be harmful to both mental and physical development.

I am very happy to see Baran in a better place with others of her kind and it is good that she will learn how to survive in nature. I would also like to appreciate the management of Eram Zoo who did a lot to ensure her relocation to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

The Iranian Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Amb. Dr. Jafar Barmaki remarks

We are extremely delighted that the tireless efforts and high-level correspondence has ultimately led to relocation of Baran to a sanctuary where she will entirely live with others of her kind,” said. We thank all involved and we will continuously engage relevant stakeholders in matters of chimpanzee welfare and conservation across the global landscape.

Dr. Stephen Ngulu, Head of the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Baran will now be in quarantine for 90 days, a time period stipulated by the Kenya Wildlife Service. With 24-hour veterinary support and a stimulating quarantine enclosure, chimpanzees arriving at the Sanctuary are carefully nursed back to health.

She will be monitored as she becomes adjusted to her new life in Kenya.The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is one of the only sanctuaries of its kind that still has the capacity to take in more chimpanzees in need, offering them a home and better future. While the chimpanzees here can never be released into the wild, they have huge enclosures, a natural environment and other chimpanzees to socialise with.

While Baran’s story started with hardship – just like her name which mean “rain” in Persian – the future now looks better for this lucky chimpanzee, and we hope that the bright sun of Kenya will bring her renewed experience amongst her kind.

She will become an ambassador for her species and help raise awareness on the plight of wild chimpanzees in Africa.


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