Unique Sanctuary with the Highest Number of Chimpanzees and Bonobos in Japan

Kumamoto Sanctuary (KS) is the first and only sanctuary for chimpanzees and bonobos in Japan. It is located approximately 800km southwest of Kyoto University’s main campus. The KS staff are passionately committed to enhancing the physical and psychological well-being of the chimpanzees and bonobos housed at the Sanctuary. The facility, chimpanzees, and other properties of Kumamoto Sanctuary were transferred from a private company to Kyoto University on August 1st, 2011. KS is now officially part of the Wildlife Research Center (WRC) at Kyoto University, WRC being the sister institute of the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University (KUPRI). In Japan, no chimpanzees whatsoever are used in laboratory research. All of the chimpanzees formerly involved in biomedical research have now been retired and are housed comfortably at Kumamoto Sanctuary. The last three chimpanzees that still remained in another biomedical research were transferred to KS on May 15th 2012. Six bonobos are now housed at KS, having arrived in two groups in December, 2013; and May, 2014 respectively. As of May 2018 there are, in total, 56 chimpanzees and 6 bonobos living at KS. KS is not open to the public for health and safety reasons.

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