Faced with Covid-19 Impact, Ngamba Sanctuary Seeks Shs 24M to Feed its Chimpanzees

A chimpanzee at Ngamba island sanctuary (Photos: Ngamba Chimpanzee Trust)

The At least Shs 24m is needed to feed the chimpanzees at their sanctuary at Ngamba Island as caretakers of the primates worry they will no longer manage to look after them due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic and restrictions in travel have dealt a major blow to tourism and wildlife conservation, and for chimpanzee sanctuary in Ngamba island, it remains unclear where the primates that live there will get food for the rest of the year.  

Ngamba Island is home to 50 chimpanzees.

Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust which manages the sanctuary says the restrictions resulting from coronavirus have affected the cash flow of Chimpanzee Trust since all its operations are dependent on tourists and donors.

The Sanctuary provides for the welfare needs of these chimpanzees, from veterinary health care, feeding,  infrastructure, and staffing qualified and capable personnel to care for the chimpanzees.  

However, the Trust issued a statement on Thursday saying it “will not be able to sustain its operations at Ngamba Island for the rest of the year”. 

“A chimpanzee needs to consume about 10-15% of its body mass in fruits and vegetables to be healthy and well. We are currently only able to give about 6% of the body weight since our chimpanzees are not as active as wild chimpanzees,” the statement reads in part. 

The chimps on Ngamba Island are fed four times a day, in measured portions to ensure that all chimpanzees receive a relatively adequate share. This is done every 3-4 hours between 7am and 6:30pm in the evening.  

The first feeding is done early in the morning at 7;30am, with each chimpanzee getting a handful of whole-grain maize meal commonly known as Posho, accompanied by half a banana (bogoya) The next two meals consist of a handful of furit and vegetable each at 11am and 2:30pm, respectively. The last meal of the day (supper), is a bowl of watered millet porridge and some cabbage or maize. Every once in a while, a boiled may be given for protein intake. (twice a month). 

According to figures by the Trust, feeding one chimpanzee at Ngamba Island everyday costs Shs 16,060, which is Shs 481,800 monthly.

This includes the cost of procuring and delivering the food to them. For donations contact Dr. Joshua Rukundo +256758221539or donate through https://payments.pesapal.com/ngambaisland

The Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1998 for the care and welfare of entrusted animals while conserving the ecosystem of the island.

The sanctuary was established as the first step of a combined national and international initiative and a globally recognized collaborative conservation effort geared towards developing and implementing a long-term strategy for the conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat.

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