After a 2-hour boat trip on Lake Victoria, across the Equator, I arrived at Ngamba Island, a chimpanzee haven in Uganda. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary currently hosts 48 chimpanzees, all rescued from illegal ownership and/or orphaned by hunting activities in Uganda or neighboring countries.
Lilly Ajarova is the executive director of The Chimpanzee Trust, an NGO working on all aspects of the sanctuary. The first time we met, it was March 2015 for the annual Primatology and Wildlife Science symposium at Kyoto University, where she was one of the invited speakers. The second time was only a few months later in August, just before I embarked for Ngamba. The emotion and passion that Ms. Ajarova puts into her work tells it all: conservation runs through her veins! Along with Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (The PrimateCast #30), Lilly Ajarova was nominated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority as one of the leading female conservationists of Uganda.
Titus Mukungu is the sanctuary manager and veterinarian at Ngamba. He was my host for the 3 days I spent there, showing me the wonderful job every person working on Ngamba was doing. I got to see behind the scenes at a chimpanzee sanctuary. From early morning chimpanzee pant-hoots through late evening meetings, I could feel the true devotion of the staff to chimpanzee welfare, conservation and education. Besides this, Ngamba Island is also a paradise for bird-, monitor lizard-, and otter-watchers. So, if you pass by Uganda, don’t miss the chance to visit!
Introduction by Cecile Sarabian
We'd like to sincerely thank Lilly Ajarova for joining us on the podcast and sharing her insight into conservation in Uganda, and Titus Mukungu for hosting us and sharing his experience at Ngamba. Be sure to check out our other podcasts featuring interviews with leading scientists and conservationists in primatology and beyond.
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This podcast series is brought to you by CICASP, and was produced by Cecile Sarabian and Andrew MacIntosh.