The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in central Zambia is a non-profit refuge that cares for a wide variety of sick, wounded or unwanted animals -- but the primary residents are over 100 orphaned chimpanzees.
doug w/ adopteesChimfunshi was founded in 1983 when a game ranger brought a badly wounded infant chimpanzee to the cattle ranch of David and Sheila Siddle, a British couple who had lived in along the Zambian copperbelt since the 1950s. The Siddles nursed that chimp – nicknamed ""Pal"" – back to health, thereby establishing a tradition of care and respect that forms the legacy of the sanctuary.
Once word of Pal's recovery spread, the Siddles found themselves inundated with orphaned chimpanzees. Although many are confiscated from poachers who attempt to smuggle the infants into Zambia for sale as pets, an equally large number are rescued from dilapidated zoos and circuses from all over Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
The Siddles bestow love and care upon the traumatized apes and gradually introduce them to the extended family at Chimfunshi. Five social groups inhabit the free-range enclosures that span 1,100 acres at the orphanage, including two 500-acre enclosures, the largest area ever set aside for captive primates.