The project began in 1994, when Pandrillus founders Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby, visited Cameroon during a survey of drills. They began working with the Cameroonian government to turn the dilapidated zoo into a sanctuary for orphaned primates.
Over the years the project's work has expanded from its original role of simply providing a caring home for these rescued and confiscated animals. The project now has an education programme designed to teach Cameroonians about the importance of conserving their own unique biological diversity. By viewing the rescued, orphaned animals at the centre, visitors come to see what wonderful creatures they are--and thus develop their own interest in protecting them.
Viewing the animals at the centre is a critical part of the education process. Increasing knowledge of the animals promotes sensitivity to the conservation issues required to ensure their ultimate survival in the wild. The fact that all of the primates are orphans--victims of habitat destruction, the bushmeat industry or pet trade--underscores the impact these issues have on the continuing viability of Cameroon's wildlife.
Staff is involved in all facets of the Project including leading tours of the zoo and working with the Nature Club. Interacting face to face with the public every day, the staff of the centre plays a critical role in educating visitors about Cameroon's rich wildlife heritage. Keepers discuss animals in their sections as well as related conservation issues.
Since 1994 Dr. John Lewis of the International Zoo Veterinary Group has volunteered time and expertise, travelling to Limbe on many occasions, as well as providing veterinary support, supplies and advice from the UK.
Education is the key to realising our goals, with the captive wildlife at the centre as a focus. Components of the Project include:
* Guided tours by staff stressing the uniqueness and value of Cameroon's wildlife.
* A Nature Club where local youth explore Cameroon's rich abundance of wildlife and learn about conservation.
* Displays and signs discussing animals, as well as habitat destruction.
* Workshops for teachers and field trips for school children including tours of the centre and educational activities throughout.
* An on-site library for use as a resource centre by students and interested parties.
* An internship programme with the University of Buea. By volunteering as tour guides and education assistants, the next generation of Cameroonian biologists are gaining valuable work experience with Cameroon's wildlife and helping to foster an interest and sense of pride in Cameroon's natural heritage for visitors to the centre and other students.
To help secure the long-tem survival of threatened and endangered species, the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) is focusing on conservation education by promoting awareness and appreciation for Cameroon's unique wildlife.
Home to 31 species of African primates, as well as a myriad of other wildlife, Cameroon is considered to be one of the world's 'hot spots' of biodiversity, with high levels of endemic plants and animals.
The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) provides one of the few opportunities to see many of these species and is thus an important tool for conservation education and awareness in Cameroon.
Many of the animals at the centre are threatened or endangered primates, victims of habitat destruction, the bushmeat industry or pet trade.
The LWC reflects both the richness and diversity of Cameroon's wildlife and the challenges facing conservation throughout Central Africa.
The long-term survival of threatened and endangered species in Cameroon depends on a shift in public attitude, where wildlife becomes a valued element of national heritage. Creating an atmosphere at the Centre whereby visitors enjoy their visit and learn about conservation is a critical part of the Centre's strategy.
The project was initiated to tackle problems of ex-wild orphaned chimpanzees and as a rehabilitation and release programme.
Over time it became apparent that the centre was a valuable resource for conservation by helping develop positive attitudes to complement efforts across Cameroon to protect the remaining wildlife populations of critical species.
Staff and Volunteers
Limbe Wildlife Centre is run by a team of fourteen staff members and several volunteers. On staff there are:
10 animal keepers
1 receptionist / tour guide
1 grounds keeper
2 security guards
The keepers are attached to specific species, increasing their knowledge and expertise. Staff are involved in all facets of the Project including leading tours of the zoo and working with the Nature Club. Interacting face to face with the public every day, the staff of the centre plays a critical role in educating visitors about Cameroon’s rich wildlife heritage. Keepers discuss animals in their sections as well as related conservation issues.
Volunteers from such places as the US, UK, Sweden, and Cameroon have been an integral part of the Project since its inception. These unpaid volunteers, contribute a wide range of experiences and expertise to the project. Volunteers assist with the development of the centre and secure funds needed to keep the project moving towards its goals. For more information on or to apply for volunteer opportunities, email Limbewc@hotmail.com or direct correspondence to:
3000 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA 22201