Sierra Leone Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Programme
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At Tacugama, we do our outmost to provide the best care & attention for our chimpanzees. Our hope is that the future generations of chimpanzees will be able to spend their lives safe as free beings in the forest.

Meet Our Staff




Food Preparation & Nutrition

Chimpanzees need a diet appropriate for their age. We need to provide them with all the nutrients they need.

Our cook is preparing bulgur balls. These balls are made with locally available ingredients such as beans and rice. They provide the chimpanzees with sufficient carbohydrates and protein to grow strong and healthy. We also blend in palm oil in the balls which nourishes their skin and fur.

If the chimpanzees do not receive a proper diet, including various fruits, they may lose weight, stop growing or become easily sick.

In the wild, chimpanzee diet consists of fruits, leaves, plants and insects. They also hunt for small animals including monkeys.

Daily Feedings

We feed our chimpanzees between 4 and 7 times a day depending on their age and the kind of housing. The chimpanzees that spend most of the time in the enclosures are fed less frequently than those in the cages, because we want to encourage the chimpanzees to eat plant foods in the enclosure.

Mr. Mosses feeding Bruno’s group in one of the enclosures. (right)


Wild chimpanzees spend about 6 hours per day eating and looking for food.

Our caretaker feeds milk to the younger chimpanzees in their night quarters. (left)


Cleaning & Maintenance

Wild chimpanzees build a fresh nest every evening which they are very careful to keep clean.

We clean the chimpanzee dens once a day when they are out in the enclosure. At night most of them have the choice of sleeping either inside or outside the den.

Cleaning of dens

The cages in the quarantine are cleaned at least three times a day. Cleaning is very important to keep a healthy environment for both chimps and humans. Excrements contain many germs and often parasites. Flies who eat the excrements or the leftover food, fly around and spread germs and diseases.



Our veterinarian Dr. Rosa and Mr. Willie take a blood sample during a medical check-up on a newly arrived chimpanzee in our quarantine clinic. All the newly arrived chimps, stay separated from the others for 3 months until we know they are healthy and before introducing them to any of the resident chimpanzees.

Staff fixing a hammock for the small chimpanzees. The hammock is a substitute for the nest that the chimpanzees in the wild build every night.

It makes the young chimpanzees feel safer and it also acts as a protection from rain and wind.

  * Photos by Unni Hermansen, Laia Dotras & Dr. Rosa Garriga

Continue to page 2 for more about our work >

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International Primate Protection League

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World Society for the Protection of Animals

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Thank You John Lydon!


Gola being weighed

Chimp Facts

Grooming: social grooming is probably the most important social behaviour among chimps, serving to maintain or improve friendships and reinforce the bonds between group members. Grooming also serves to remove dirt and parasites.

More Facts

Last Updated: January 20, 2007 at 16:20 EST