Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary is looking for financial help to keep food on its animal’s plates during the coronavirus crisis, which has severely affected the Tourism Industry in Uganda and other parts of the world.
According to Dorothy Basemera, the Guest Relations and Partnership Officer at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and consequent travel ban has affected the sanctuary’s revenue since its operations are dependent on funds from tourists and donors.
Basemera says the Sanctuary needs financial assistance to be able feed its animals and sustain its operations 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 chimpanzee are not as active as wild chimpanzees. To achieve this, the chimpanzees 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,” said Basemera in a statement.
She explained that 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 she says, consist of a handful of fruit and vegetable each at 11:00AM and 2:30PM, respectively, and 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).
“Daily, feeding one chimpanzee at Ngamba Island costs 16,060/= (Sixteen Thousand Sixty Shillings) and for a month 481,800/=. This includes the cost of procuring and delivering the food to them. Therefore, the Trust needs a total of 24,090,000/= (Twenty-Four Million Ninety Thousand Shillings only) to feed all the 50 chimpanzees within its care at Ngamba Island.
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.
Ngamba Island managed by Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust is home to now 50 chimpanzees, with the recent birth of the newborn female baby.