Genetically, the chimpanzee is humankind's closest relative in the animal kingdom. Yet in recent times humans have shown scant regard for the welfare of their intelligent cousin.
Conflicts and endemic poverty across their range have decimated wild chimpanzee populations and they are today a seriously endangered species. Destruction of their habitat and the bush meat trade have disrupted their complex social structures, often resulting in orphaned youngsters - some of which are sold illegally as exotic 'pets' to people who do not understand their highly specialised needs. In association with the Jane Goodall Institute South Africa, Eugene Cussons and his family established Chimpanzee Eden in the South African Lowveld as a sanctuary for the relocation of abused and orphaned chimpanzees from all over Africa. Often at great personal risk, Cussons travels throughout strife-torn African countries and brings traumatised primates back to the safety of Chimp Eden where, for the first time for most of them, they have freedom and the opportunity of being with their own kind, as well as the attention of experts.
Saving Chimpanzees is a remarkable account of some of his rescue missions - complicated operations requiring diplomacy and no small measure of courage and dedication.