In the rainforests of Cameroon, the number of wild, free-living chimpanzees is dwindling at an alarming rate.
Today, it is estimated that fewer than 150,000 chimpanzees remain in their native African countries where as recently as the early 1900's the wild forests of Africa were home to nearly 2 million chimpanzees.
The illegal, commercial bushmeat trade and habitat loss are the primary threats to ape populations. These two powerful, destructive forces feed one another like wind feeds a fire.
The slaughtered chimpanzees are not the only victims of the illegal trade in bushmeat. The orphans ? infants, juveniles and adults ? are victims as well. Visits to remote jungle villages and urban markets often include the sight of dejected orphans listlessly pining for their dead mothers. Visitors to roadside zoos and resort hotels are often shocked at the sight of adult chimpanzees ? the grown-up orphans ? tethered to the ground by short, heavy chains, or caged behind bars for a lifetime.
POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon, West-Central Africa seeks volunteers for six-month stays. Under the direction of a Project Manager, volunteers are responsible for carrying out day-to-day operations of the sanctuary.
Tasks include working with/overseeing Cameroonian staff (who speak French), buying food and supplies in town and nearby villages, helping with chimpanzee care and feeding, maintaining project equipment, assisting with construction projects, painting, and other manual tasks.
Volunteers pitch in wherever most needed, though efforts are made to match individuals with their specific talents and skills. Please note that direct hands-on contact with chimpanzees is limited.
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