Angolan Ambassador Visits Mbambela Chimpanzee Reserve

Mpumalanga — The Angolan ambassador to South Africa, Josefina Pitra Diakité, Wednesday visited the Jane Gordall Chimpanzee Institute, in South Africa's district of Mbombela, about 395 kilometres of Pretoria, home for 13 Angolan chimpanzees for more than seven years now.

The visit was part of the celebrations of the 37th anniversary of Angola's independence day, November 11.

At the end of the visit, ambassador Josefina Diakite told journalists that the purpose of the visit to South Africa's main animal reserve was to learn of the state of health of the chimpanzees and outline with the local authorities combined actions for the maintenance of those primates.

"The Angolan Government has been paying a special attention to matters of conservation of the nature and environment, hence the reason for us to include on our agenda of activities on November 11 a visit to this important sanctuary of South Africa's animal reserve," said the diplomat.

The ambassador said the Angolan chimpanzees are currently in the South African reserve under an accord between the governments of Angola and South Africa signed in 1994.

She stated that Angolan Government representatives' mission is not limited to assisting the Angolan citizens, but also seeking to preserve the country's fauna as an important element for the development of the nation.

In his turn, the Jane Gordall Chimpanzee Institute manager, Marc Cronje, said there are other threatened species of animals in Angola, particularly in the Lubango area, southern Huila province.

The Jane Gordall Chimpanzee Institute is the home for animals from such countries as Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Togo, Gabon, Central Africa Republic and others with the population comprising antelopes, giraffes, monkeys, zebras and others.

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