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Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center (Centre de Rehabilitation des Primates de Lwiro, or CRPL) was created in 2002 by two Congolese Institutions: Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and Centre de Recherché en Sciences Naturelles (CRSN). Poaching increased drastically during the Second Congolese War (1998-2004), and it was decided to create a safe place for orphaned primates to recover both physically and physiologically from their ordeals.


Lwiro Primates in now accredited by Global Federation Of Animal Sanctuaries

“We are proud to be accredited by GFAS. This accreditation signifies our unwavering commitment to maintaining high standards of animal care and welfare. It reflects the hard work and dedication we have put into ensuring the well-being of the animals under our care. We are honored to be recognized for our efforts and will continue to strive for excellence in animal welfare.”

Itsaso Vélez del Burgo Guinea  
Technical Director 

Our chimpanzees and monkeys have become ambassadors for their wild cousins. Our education and sensitization program reaches more than 4.500 people every year. CRPL is also involved in the following activities:

  • Rescue, rehabilitation, and planned reintroduction of confiscated wildlife

  • Conservation and environmental education

  • Community development, health, and sanitation projects

  • Research programs and activities

  • Local and international tourism

  • Collaboration with local and international organizations

Management of a long-term captive care facility, with an emphasis on rehabilitation and conservation education, requires the resources (financial and technical) of multiple partners. For this reason, the CRPL welcomed collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations to assist with the management and development of the project. In 2006, Coopera, a Spanish NGO arrived to provide the needed technical and management support. In 2016, the Ivan Carter Wildlife Conservation Alliance (ICWCA) became our core partner, and, in that same year, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP) officially joined the team in taking charge of the veterinary department.

CRPL is an important conservation tool for primates in the DRC. We are currently looking after 126 chimpanzees and 117 monkeys of 16 different species, all of them victims of the pet trade and/or poaching. Without centers like ours, no confiscation of captive animals would be possible, which also makes us essential for law enforcement.

Strategically situated only 4 km away from Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP), defined by the IUCN as the world’s 3rd most important site for the conservation of the Eastern Chimpanzee; makes Lwiro the ideal location for chimpanzee rehabilitation, local conservation education, and outreach.

CRPL is an accredited sanctuary by Pan Africans Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). 

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