Adopt Max

Max was one of the first chimpanzees to arrive at Sweetwaters. He spent his first years with a French film crew from whom he was confiscated in 1990. Over the years, Max has learned a thing or two about how to get the attention of visitors, and has become famous for his spontaneous screaming episodes and tantrums. When he really tries to make a point, he will pick up rocks and sticks and throw them at people.

After visiting the Sanctuary, a lot of our guests kept asking if they could adopt Max, prompting us to add him to our adoption programme. At age 36 Max is mostly toothless and has his food specially prepared by our caregivers. He recently had a health check and got the remaining back teeth fixed. These days, Max spends most of his time enjoying the new enrichment structures at the enclosure where he uses sticks to fish for honey and jam.


Adopt Poco

Poco spent the first nine years of his life in a cage suspended above a workshop in Burundi. Confined and used to attract customers, Poco had so little space he was only able to sit or stand on two legs.He arrived at Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in 1995 and has become a completely different chimpanzee. He really likes people and will strut or throw sticks to get the attention of visitors.

The new enrichment structures at the Sweetwaters Sanctuary have been keeping him busy, but he prefers to enjoy them by himself. As he is getting older he is becoming more of a loner. He waits for the other chimpanzees to have their turn and when they wander off goes to fish for honey and other treats. He recently had a dental check and a respiratory system check, and per his health report, it is safe to say that visitors can keep looking forward to his entertaining performances.


Adopt Manno

Manno was born in a Damascus Zoo, torn from his mother at a young age. His early life was spent sat in a cage in northern Iraq, close to territory occupied by Islamic State. The only time   he was allowed out was to be used as a photo prop for tourists. An international effort involving multiple governments and NGOs finally brought him to Kenya, where for the first time in his memory, Manno met other chimpanzees and felt grass underneath his feet. Manno is now learning how to be a chimpanzee all over again, growing in confidence and strength. He wins the hearts of all who meet him.

His favourite activities are piggyback rides from the females and climbing the wooden platform in his enclosure. Manno’s personality has also caught the attention of retired alpha male Niyonkuru; who is often seen carrying him on his back - showing that Manno’s boyish charm endears him to all.


Adopt the Foster Moms

Alley, Zee’s foster mother, was taken to the Jane Goodall institute from a private home. Lucky enough to have had a good home she has a steady temper and is easy to handle. She is constantly seen taking care of the babies and was especially kind to the four musketeers when they first arrived. Akeela, Jane’s foster mother, was kept in a small cage. It was first thought that she suffered some neurological condition, as she seemed uncoordinated. At Sweetwaters this was disproved, she was simply very insecure and as her confidence grew this behaviour dissipated. She too loves taking care of the babies.

Akeela is the most experienced foster mum taking care of all new chimpanzees that are introduced to her. Her calm demeanour and tenderness certainly helped little Manno feel at home. At 30 years she has learnt how to patiently get along with everybody barely ever getting caught in conflict. She recently had a health check that included eyesight review, teeth check and respiratory infections and received a clean bill of health.

Alley is very intelligent and the most unpredictable of all the chimpanzees. She is very creative at using tools, and has even been seen trying to teach the rest of the group some of her skills. To receive treats, Alley has learnt to use sign language to communicate with both the caregivers and visitors.