The last couple of weeks have been extra fun for the staff, otters, and gibbons! We’ve been fortunate to have Irene and Joseph from the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary with us here at IPPL.  In addition to sharing their knowledge and great stories with us, they got a look at our operations and had the chance to learn first hand about gibbons and otters.

The visit was a unique chance for caregivers of great apes and caregivers for small apes to learn from one another. Irene and Joseph gave a fascinating presentation about Ngamba Island and community conservation programs in Uganda. They also toured the IPPL archive and “Wall of Fame” with Dr. McGreal.

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Visit Highlights

Jennifer, one of our Animal Care Leads had this to say about their visit:

[su_quote cite=”Jennifer B.”]Having Joseph and Irene here has been wonderful! We have learned a lot from them about Uganda and Ngamba chimp sanctuary. And, we hope that they, in turn, learned from us. It only took about an hour or so for us to feel like they have always been a part of our team. We hate to see them go, but hope that we will see them again![/su_quote]

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While Joseph and Irene have been working with chimps and other wildlife for years, seeing gibbons was a first for them. Experiencing how another sanctuary works and how a US charity operates was also educational.

We were curious what stood out for them.  Here’s what they had to say:

[su_quote cite=”Joseph M.”]Working with primates, especially chimpanzees, has been my favorite job. When I had an opportunity to volunteer at the sanctuary, I was so excited to have an experience with other primates. This was my first time seeing gibbons and listening to their different vocalizations. I was surprised how loud they were! Working with primates requires a committed team. IPPL team: you’re great! I will miss being here, but in the time we shared with the team and the gibbons, we have learned and shared.[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Irene A.”]I appreciated the opportunity to have volunteered with IPPL for two weeks. It was great experience. Listening to the nice songs from gibbons and watching them swinging around with their acrobatics makes me appreciate the work we do all over the world to protect primates. To the committed team who oriented me and guided me in the animal care section and everywhere at the sanctuary: this was great! Special thanks to Dr. Shirley for allowing us stay at the sanctuary.[/su_quote]

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Gibbon songs of gratitude to Joseph and Irene for all of their time here a IPPL and for the great work that they do to protect primates at their sanctuary and across Uganda with the Chimpanzee Trust. We hope you had a great time and will come back to see us one day.  Have a safe trip!