In the 1900’s there were up to 2 million chimps in Africa alone but that number has plummeted to fewer than 100 000 today and it is estimated that chimpanzees will be extinct within their natural habitats in less than ten years. No one is certain of the exact number of chimpanzees left in the wild.
The Jane Goodall Sanctuary in South Africa (Chimpanzee Eden) was started in March 2006 and is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa. The main mission of the sanctuary is to rescue and take care of chimpanzees in need of refuge; providing the chimpanzees with a home to live out their lives and also with the necessary attention to recover from the trauma they have experienced. The sanctuary is set on a 1000 hectare game reserve, 15 kilometers out of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Chimpanzee Eden only accommodates orphaned African-born Chimps.
The Institute functions as a non-profit organisation (trust) run by a Board of Trustees. Other than Dr. Jane Goodall who is a permanent member of the Board, all board members are elected for 3 years and thereafter must step down and are then still eligible for re-election by the remaining board members.
The management of the relationship between Jane Goodall Institute South Africa and Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden is controlled contractually and by regular, frequent meetings of a Joint Management Board whose function is to address matters of interest and concern between the parties as they arise. The Sanctuary falls under the legislative jurisdiction of Nature Conservation in Mpumalanga as well as the State Veterinary Department.