Together with Congolese authorities (ICCN), we rescue primates and other wildlife from the hands of poachers. Most of the chimpanzees arrive prior to weaning (84%) and they are mostly byproduct of illegal hunting for bushmeat.
The baby primates, as humans, are very attached to their mothers. In the case of chimpanzees, they live closely with their mums until they are around 5 years old. Most of the chimpanzees arrives to CRPL before 3 years old. What it means, their mother was killed to be able to take the baby. The rescued primates, thus, arrived traumatized and because of the mistreatment while in captivity during the time with the poacher, they also arrive in bad health status. Our main goal is to recover them.
Sadly sexual abuse is a reality in DRC. We provide job to sexual abuse survivors. They are rehabilitated while helping to rehabilitate victims of poaching.
Our team has been extensively trained in animal husbandry, nowadays we are proud of our team's skills. But the building capacity never stops, and thanks to our collaborators we provide to our team continuous training. Together with Gorilla Doctors we are carrying out a Capacity Building Program for Congolese wildlife veterinarians.
Education is a potential tool to change things. Our education and awareness program has reached more than 3.500 people during 2018, from which about 90% are Congoles and 10% foreigners. Through the visit to our Center our chimpanzees act as ambassadors between their world and ours by giving thousands of ordinary Congolese the chance to come face to face with what they stand to lose. Four Roots and Shoots groups (environmental education groups for kids) are active thanks to CRPL.
Together with ICCN, we carry out special awareness seances for militaries and policemen. The goal is to train them about Congoles wildlife law and to instruct them about the important role they have in wildlife protection.
The CRPL, together with its governmental partner CRSN, are the only employers of the area of Lwiro. Unemployment is a big issue in South Kivu and in DRC in general. CRPL is providing job to 53 local people, with a fully health insure for them and their families. Additionally the sanctuary is injecting in the local community more than 3.000$ per month, since we buy all the food for our animals from local markets.
Since 2006, CRPL is carrying out a holistic Conservation Program in communities around Kahuzi-Biega National Park. In a country where poverty and insecurity are daily basis of the society, human welfare (poverty or development) needs to be taking into account to be able to achieve our goals for conservation. Our projects are base in: create alternative sources of income, capacity building, women empowerment, education, One health, and special phycological and reinsertion support for VSV.
We work to reinforce the implementation of Congoles wildlife laws by providing a Centre for wildlife seized by authorities (mostly ICCN). Without this support, confiscating agencies would soon tire of prosecuting wildlife crime as they would have nowhere to place the seized animals.