C.A.R.E. successfully petitioned the local courts to gain custody of 14 baboons held in appalling conditions in an experimentation facility - Centre Africain Primatologie Experimentale (C.A.P.E.) - and removed them to C.A.R.E.'s premises in October 2000.
C.A.P.E. is run by French nationals, and has been found in the past to export wild-trapped baboons to the French military for radiation testing. The centre has a ten-year history of abuse to primates. This project was assisted by IFAW, SAAV and BUAV.
Four of the adult males were released in April 2001, the balance of the group was returned to the wild in the summer of 2002. Ex President Nelson Mandela was on hand to observe the animals "walk to freedom".
Whilst C.A.R.E.'s primary concern is the chacma baboon, we have also succeeded in raising two Samango Monkeys, a red data listed species. This is the first recorded instance of them breeding in captivity.
The Dome Conservancy - a proposed World Heritage Site - became home to a new troop of 17 baboons in March 2002. Their interaction with a resident wild troop has assisted their successful integration into the area. Three babies have been born to this troop since their release.
An additional troop of 18 baboons found refuge in a separate part of the 18,000ha Conservancy in December 2002. They too have thrived in their new environment.
were instrumental in establishing the first ever Lion Haven within South Africa. Three lions rescued from the "Canned Lion" industry and raised by C.A.R.E. were relocated to their new safe home.
C.A.R.E., in association with The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), co-ordinated the rescue and relocation of hand reared lions destined for "canned hunting" - as seen on the British TV programme 'The Cook Report'. Unfortunately this despicable practice still continues to this day.
In December 2000 we released 31 wild caught baboons. This group was confiscated from an animal trapper, and had been destined for laboratory use.
In 1996 we supported South Africans for the Abolition of Vivisection (SAAV) who secured the release of seven laboratory baboons.
These animals had been subjected to a decade of breathing in asbestos dust, living in a 1m x 1m cage. This was the first time South African lab animals had been allowed to live out their days in a sanctuary instead of being killed at the end of the testing.
Six of the baboons survive today, housed in a three storey high enclosure complete with climbing frames and a paddling pool. Finally, aged 18 - 20 years old, they are able to touch, groom and interact with one another, and with the wild troop of baboons that frequents C.A.R.E.'s property.
In 1994 ten hand-reared baboons were released as a troop and were integrated into the existing wild population of baboons in the release area.
After 12 months a 70% survival rate was observed - a 30% survival rate for wild animal re-introductions is generally considered the accepted norm.
In our second release 25 baboons were introduced to an area where natural populations had disappeared - with equally good survival rates.
Breeding has occurred to supplement the losses experienced through natural predation.