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Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Tacugama is a chimpanzee sanctuary located on the outskirts of Freetown, in the Western Area Peninsula National Park, Sierra Leone. It was founded in 1995 by conservationist Bala Amarasekaran and his wife Sharmila. Caring for over 100 chimpanzees on-site today, Tacugama has evolved into a major center for education and wildlife field research. A number of social and educational projects were established in collaboration with local communities, covering topics like environmental sustainability, conservation education and alternative livelihoods programs. For us it offers the unique opportunity to study the complex behavior of chimpanzees and their development in their almost natural habitat and in large social groups. The mutual aim is to establish a long-term research collaboration between the two institutions to increase our understanding of chimpanzee cognitive development and to further our understanding of the evolution of great ape intelligence in general.