National Animal Campaign

About the Campaign

As a result of the efforts made by Tacugama, in 2019 the government of Sierra Leone declared the Chimpanzee as the National Animal and the face of tourism of Sierra Leone – the first country in the world to do so. This was a major milestone for which our sanctuary worked towards for many years. 

Tacugama is launching a multi-year campaign to engage Sierra Leoneans of all ages and backgrounds to fully embrace this pioneer declaration and protect,  respect, and learn about this critically endangered great ape. The impact of this campaign will be  amplified by momentum built through Tacugama’s multilateral community outreach programs, and  through local and international partnerships with like-minded organizations and individuals. 

The campaign is an opportunity to encourage national pride behind Sierra Leone’s National Animal, the Chimpanzee, as a symbol of the country’s strength, stunning natural beauty, rich biodiversity and resilience.

Ongoing informal surveys conducted by Tacugama indicate that many Freetowners are unaware of  the Chimpanzee’s status as the National Animal. With an estimated 5,500+ remaining Western  Chimpanzees in Sierra Leone and continued deforestation, poaching for bushmeat, and an ongoing  pet trade, it is critical to reach Sierra Leoneans in the endeavor to protect our national symbol.  

To protect the Chimpanzee and its habitat means mitigating climate change, constructing a nationwide Eco-Tourism circuit, reforesting critical areas of Sierra Leone’s landscape, maintaining water catchments, installing rural renewable energy and OneHealth initiatives, crafting alternative livelihood programs, and above all, engaging today’s youth to protect tomorrow’s environment. 

National Animal Week 2023
November 20-26


It is through your support that we can raise awareness amongst Sierra Leoneans about their National Animal and further protect countless wild Chimpanzees. On behalf of Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, we thank you for supporting the Chimpanzee National Animal Awareness & Protection Campaign!