An unsuccessful re-introduction attempt of a wild-born captive chimpanzee Pan troglodytes, Kibale National Park, Uganda
Treves A. & Naughton-Treves L. (1997) Case study of a chimpanzee recovered from poachers and temporarily released with wild conspecifics. Primates, 38, 315-324
Efforts to re-introduce captive apes into the wild are usually undertaken in an attempt to enhance populations of endangered species and/or to liberate individuals from captivity. Chimpanzees Pan troglodytesare considered difficult to reintroduce due to their aggressiveness to unknown individuals. This paper describes the release and interactions of a captive female wild-born chimpanzee (recovered from poachers), with the human-habituated Kanyawara community (40-50 individuals) of wild chimpanzees in Kibale National Park (western Uganda), prior to her return to captivity.
A captive, wild-born, female chimpanzee (between 4-6 years old), was illegally held captive for an estimated three to six months prior to recovery by the authorities on 19 April 1995; she was considered to have bee caught locally. Pre-release behavioral monitoring, training, provisioning and medical screening was undertaken. She climbed well, built nests and foraged on wild foods. On 24 April the confiscated chimpanzee was taken to a first forest camp, joining the Kanyawara chimpanzees on 10 May. Post-release interactions with these wild chimpanzees were recorded.