Research Article

The rehabilitated chimpanzees of Rubondo Island

Monica Bornera1

a1 Frankfurt Zoological Society, Tanzania Wild life Conservation Project, PO Box 154, Mwanza, Tanzania.


Between 1966 and 1969 17 chimpanzees, which had all been captured in the wild and had spent various amounts of time in European zoos, were released in Rubondo Island National Park in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Now there is a healthy population of at least 20 chimpanzees, and it is likely that there is now a second generation of Rubondo-born animals. The author, who has been recording sightings of the chimpanzees since 1978, discusses this early rehabilitation experiment, sets it in the context of others and examines the problems of how best to cope with those animals that are confiscated while enforcing the laws prohibiting the capture of wild chimpanzees.