Welcome to the Chimpanzee Conservation Center

Brought to you by Project Primate Inc.

The Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC), is a unique chimpanzee sanctuary and rehabilitation project in Guinea, West Africa. We are located in the Haut-Niger National Park, and our rescued chimpanzees are orphans who have been captured to be sold as pets after their mother is killed for bushmeat. We rehabilitate and care for these orphaned individuals, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.

The CCC is supported by Project Primate Inc., a 501(c)(3) United States nonprofit.

Moucky, Zoe and Coco’s Saga episode 3

Today meet the third actor in our romcom saga. His name is Coco. He’s our oldest resident (about 36 years old), our own rock star and a real survivor! Coco was kept in captivity since he was 2 years old. He was chained by his neck in the back of a hotel in Conakry. One day in 1995 when he was about 14 years old, he broke his chain and a military shot him 5 times (4 bullets entered him from the back while he was fleeing). Estelle Raballand, the CCC founder was caring for chimpanzees at the time in Conakry. The hotel director called her. She managed to save him but he stayed paralyzed for 2 years due to a bullet in the back of his spine. One of knee was destroyed and it took years to heal. After years of efforts to find funding and get him back on his feet, he was moved to the CCC in 2000 (see picture of him and Estelle in 2002).

Coco et Estelle jouent, pr FBCoco dans son enclos, il y a quelques années pr FB


He had a few friends along the year, the latest is Zoe, but he could never be introduced to a group of chimpanzees due to his disability and his humanized personality. In 2012, we almost lost him again when he was stung over a thousand times by bees.

Coco 2012 after the bees attack

You can see him when he was lying on his bed very weak in the picture below. He has a very fragile stomach since then. He loves playing (see him laughing) and painting (on his face too). He loves attention, music, good food and his routine. Tomorrow Moucky move by Coco… He is interested (and worried)!You can sponsorhim on our web site: ttp://www.projetprimates.com/help-us/#Sponsor

Coco mord de rire en pleine parti de jeu -pr FB coco peinture pr FB

Moucky, Zoe and Coco’s Saga episode 2

Here is the second character of our saga: Zoe. She was kept as a pet at the Portuguese consul house in Conakry. She was kept in a cage 2mx2m with a cement floor. We had known about her for years but the owner didn’t want to turn her to us. In 2009, due to political turmoil, the owner’s left so we had to hurry and get her.
She has been living next to Coco since 2009. She was really afraid in her fence for months. Now she loves it. She has a favorite tree where she can spend hours looking out. She is still unpredictable sometimes but she is a very sweet girl. Next: Coco’s story.Présentation Zoe anglais

Moucky, Zoe and Coco’s Saga

This week a saga at the CCC in 5 episodes. Three main characters: Coco, Zoe and Moucky. Today we’re presenting Moucky (girls first).
Moucky was kept as a pet in someone’s home in Guinea for years despite our efforts to get her. She grew up and the owner decided to « release » her by having her keeper take her on a motor bike 20 kilometers from her home and chase her with a sling shot. He left her. She tried to walk back. On the way she found a village where people fed her until she became unmanageable. The authorities were informed and contacted the CCC. We sent a volunteer, Stephane, to care for her while we built her a quarantine cage and she joined the CCC in February 2015. She was very traumatized and had a lot of autistic behavior. Stephane, spent hours with her to calm her down. Next…Zoe’s story. Stay tuned!


EliseNeveu_2015-03_Moucky a SabadouBaranama (3)pr fb EliseNeveu_2015-03_Moucky a SabadouBaranama (9) pr FB EliseNeveu_2015-03_Moucky arrivée à Somoria (2)pr FB EliseNeveu_2015-03_Moucky arrivée à Somoria (3) pr FB Mouky2 19032015 Chédemail Stéphane(1)pr FB

Thanks again to Brigitte Bardot Foundation!

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for their support in 2015, they have been by our side for many years now.

Their support is absolutly crucial as the CCC received 5 chimpanzees in one year. The Foundation awarded the CCC one grant to support the chimpanzees’ care, which will help us to buy them food and milk for the youngest ones.

Thank you for the constant and continued support!

For more information on the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, please visit http://www.fondationbrigittebardot.fr/


University of Kent raise funds for our Ebola appeal

On the 12th of December, the students and staff of the School of Anthropology and Conservation of Kent University in England, organized a fundraising for the Ebola appeal launched to help the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in Guinea.

This day is traditionally a « Christmas Jumper Competition Day », so each participant had to donate at least £2 to compete.

The students and staff collected an amazing 215£ (275€ ) which were donated to Projet Primates France, the French NGO in charge of the fundraising in Europe.

We warmly thank all the students and staff members for this Christmas wonderful initiative! Thanks to everyone for your warm hearted donation!

Les étudiants en master de l'Ecole de Conservation et d'Anthropologie de l'Université de Kent

The students and staff with their Christmas jumper

If you also want to participate to the fundraisng to help the CCC face this terrible Ebola crisis, you can donate online at http://www.projetprimates.com/aidez-nous/#Don or on either our indiegogo campaign or Ebola emergency funds campaign


Thank you Brigitte Bardot Foundation!

We would like to gratefully acknowledge the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, one of the CCC’s longtime supporters. They have stuck with us through thick and thin, and their support has been crucial as the CCC has taken in more chimpanzees over the years. The Foundation awarded the CCC two grants this year to support the chimpanzees’ care and to help repair and improve the chimpanzees’ enclosures.

Thank you for the constant and continued support!

For more information on the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, please visit http://www.fondationbrigittebardot.fr/



A storm hit the CCC

Last week, we were close to a major disaster: a kapok tree fell on the teenagers’ fence during a very violent storm. Luckily enough, this happened at night when all the chimps were safe inside their cage. Damages are only material ones. But they are important…

Le fromager sur l'enclos des adolescents Photo CCC

The kapok tree fallen on the teenagers’ fence
Photo CCC

The base of this tree was severely damaged in January 2009, when a huge bush fire devastated  CCC.

Les fromagers avaient subi aussi les ravages du feu de 2009 Photo CCC/C.Colin

The 3 kapok trees were damaged during the big fire in 2009
Photo CCC/C.Colin

Miraculously, nobody was injured, neither the CCC team nor the chimps. But the fire burnt the base of these 3 huge trees, which provide a very nice shade to the cages. This kapok tree  was the second biggest ones and it didn’t resist the violent winds of the storm. And we now fear the base of the biggest kapok tree might also be weakened.

The situation for this tree is going to be evaluated very quickly as it could be very dangerous for the chimpanzees if it was going to fall as well.

So the CCC team was very busy in the past days to cut this huge tree. When it’s done, the fence will need to be fixed! This enclosure was built 2 years ago and we are glad we decided to work with metalic posts! They coped well with the weight of the tree! The team is doing its best to fix the enclosure so the teenagers can access it asap.

We will keep you posted on the progresses.

Le tronc est énorme! Photo CCC/DR

The trunk is huge!
Photo CCC/DR

Le lent découpage du fromager Photo CCC/DR

Slow cutting of the tree…
Photo CCC/DR

Meet Coco

Coco is one of our most beloved chimps, and is an inspiring example of resilience in the face of extreme hardship.

Before his transfer to the Chimpanzee Conservation Center, Coco lived a long 14 years chained to a tree next to a hotel in the capital city of Conakry. While there, he regularly smoked cigarettes and drank beer for the pleasure of tourists.  In 1995, he successfully broke his chain and escaped but was severely wounded after being shot five times by a Guinean soldier. phpZyelL8PM The Center’s Director, Estelle Raballand, intervened and was able to successfully treat him over the course of a few months.  Astoundingly, despite his incredible suffering, Coco accepted his treatments without aggression.  Unfortunately, one of the gunshots destroyed his right kneecap and his left leg has never recovered completely, leaving him disabled for life.  In 2011, Coco once again showed his incredible strength when he survived an attack from a swarm of bees which left more than 1,000 stings on his body.  While he was weakened for several months, treatment and copious amounts of attention from the volunteers helped pull him through.

Born in 1981, Coco was too old to integrate into the existing chimpanzee group – he never learned correct chimpanzee social behavior, and would have been further injured by his peers for his age and disabilities.  He lives alone but with much human interaction and enrichment.  Because he is not a candidate to be released into the wild, Coco holds a special place in each and every volunteer’s heart (sometimes gently nibbling on and kissing the volunteers).  He serves as a symbol of the resilience of this species even when faced with unspeakable cruelty.

Adopt Coco through our Adopt-A-Chimp program!

A new arrival

We have a new addition to the CCC family! Her name is Missy, and, like all of our orphans, a number of sad events precipitated her arrival at the CCC.

Missy with a piece of mango

Missy with a piece of mango

Poachers killed Missy’s mother for bushmeat, and took Missy to a town in Liberia to be sold as a pet. An expatriate found her and contacted the CCC, because there are no sanctuaries or facilities in Liberia that care for orphan chimpanzees.


Missy arrived at the CCC at the end of April and immediately began a strict quarantine with two volunteers, who are serving as her substitute mothers. She attached to them very quickly, and their support will be critical for her emotional and psychological development over the next few months.

Missy with one of her substitute mothers

Missy with one of her substitute mothers

Her personality has started to shine through over the past few weeks. She enjoys playing in the trees, learning how to fall (a very important process for a baby chimpanzee), and being tickled by her substitute mothers – like all babies, she is very ticklish and asks to be tickled by putting the volunteers’ hands on her. She is also learning what it is like to live in the bush: when she first arrived, she did not want to leave her bed unless she was being carried, and since then we have noticed that she curls her toes when she walks – she hasn’t gotten used to the feel of the dirt, leaves, and twigs on her feet yet! She is also discovering wild fruits for the first time, and is particularly fond of a few of them. 


Missy doesn’t have contact with the other chimps yet, but she can hear them and is receptive to their calls, which bodes well for her future integration. 


Help support Missy as she begins her new life at the CCC!

Missy is beginning to explore her new environment

Missy is beginning to explore her new environment

Annie: from orphan to new mother

Yesterday, we learned that Annie, one of our released chimpanzees, gave birth to a healthy baby girl! We are so proud of her, and it made us reflect on how far she has come.

Juste après avoir été relâchée  Photo © CCC/C Danaud

Photo © CCC/C Danaud

Guinean authorities seized Annie from traffickers in Conakry in August 2007 and quickly entrusted her to the CCC. We don’t think that she spent a lot of time in captivity before arriving at the CCC, because she was healthy and independent. She quickly integrated into the younger age group and demonstrated quite a few « chimpanzee skills » during outings in the bush: she already knew a lot about what wild fruits and leaves to eat, and even knew how to use tools to fish for ants. Annie was a great teacher and ended up showing the rest of her group how to do the same things. Because she was already so adept at surviving in the bush, we decided to release her with Lola and Siala in August 2011 to join the group we released in 2008. Although she did not know the individuals from the first group, she was well received by the two males, Albert and Robert (who were delighted to have a new girlfriend!), and accepted by the females.

Annie in 2008

Annie, 2008 © Photo CCC

She is still with the group today, and very comfortable in her freedom. This past year, she spent a lot of time with wild chimpanzees, and our manager spotted her with a wild male in October, which means that the father of her new baby could be a wild chimpanzee! When we change the released chimpanzees’ collars this summer, we will try to take a hair sample from her daughter and do some genetic testing.