Misson

SAGA (Support for African/Asian Great Apes) is a consortium founded in 1998 with three main goals: 1) to conserve the natural habitat of wild great apes; 2) to enrich the lives of those in captivity, and; 3) to bring an end to the use of great apes as subjects in invasive studies. Note: as of autumn 2006, all invasive biomedical research on chimpanzees in Japan was stopped completely; all chimpanzees formerly involved in biomedical research have now been retired and are housed comfortably at Kumamoto Sanctuary, run by Kyoto University.

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GAIN

The Great Ape Information Network (GAIN), coupled with SAGA, is dedicated to ensure the optimal welfare of great apes in Japan. Over the last decade, GAIN has set up an online database listing each individual captive great ape within Japan. By maintaining this database, GAIN is able to aid the nationwide relocation, reproduction and re-socialization program, maintenance of genetic diversity in the captive population, and post-mortem utilization of great apes. You can access up-to-date population information at the GAIN website: http://shigen.nig.ac.jp/gain

May 15th 2012, is one of the most memorable in the history of SAGA. On this day, the last three chimpanzees still housed at a biomedical research institute were finally transferred to Kumamoto Sanctuary to live out the rest of their life in peaceful retirement. These three chimpanzees, female Candy and two males Musashi and Shoubou, were captured in the wild and taken to Japan as infants. Now, at long last, able to see the blue sky, to walk on the bare earth, to touch, laugh with and even fight their new group mates again, three decades after first arriving in Japan. Please click the button below to see how they are gradually returning to a more natural, more social life – a real chimpanzee life.

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Photo: Candy steps on bare ground for the first time in three decades (© Kumamoto Sanctuary)
Statements & Messages
Seriously Big News
Symposia

SAGA holds an annual symposium within Japan. Except for particular specified sessions, attendance is free, with no prior registration required. Please join us! At recent symposiums, SAGA has additionally focused on promoting awareness of good welfare practice, in order to enrich the quality of the lives of animals with whom we share the planet other than great apes, including monkeys and prosimians and even elephants.

Upcoming!
SAGA20 will be held on November 04-05, 2017 at the Japan Monkey Centre (Aichi prefecture.)

SAGA19
2016.11.19-20
SAGA18
2015.11.14-15
SAGA17
2014.11.15-16
SAGA16
2013.11.09-10
SAGA15
2012.11.17-18
SAGA14
2011.11.12-13
SAGA13
2010.11.13-14
SAGA12
2009.11.14-15
SAGA11
with HOPE 2008.11.15-18
SAGA10
with HOPE 2007.11.17-19
SAGA9
2006.11.11-12
SAGA8
2005.11.18-20
SAGA7
2004.11.12-14
SAGA6
with COE symposium 2003.11.13-15
SAGA5
2002.11.14-17
SAGA4
2001.11.15-17
SAGA3
2000.11.9-10
SAGA2
with COE symposium 1999.11.16-22
SAGA1
1998.11.19-20
SCCS 2000
2000.3.2-5
SCCS 2002
2002.2.17-20
 
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Essentials of Effective Enrichment

What is Enrichment?

Environmental enrichment is the process of manipulating and enhancing the environment for captive animals in order to increase physical and mental activities. By doing so, their normal, species-typical behavior is promoted and psychological well-being is improved. The aim is to create an environment that helps to recreate natural life, as much as possible and as close as possible to their real life in nature.
Well-Established Enclosure

Nothing is more appealing and enriching captive chimpanzees' life than a well-established enclosure aiming to resemble wild habitat. We believe that chimpanzees' life in captivity begins when we, human caretakers readily provide the most elementary needs to our closest relative, such as to live in social groups where they can interact freely with each other: they can touch, smell, and laugh even fight as they would in the wild while also free to enjoy the benefits of sun, earth, lush vegetation and water.

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Tips to Increase Gathering and Foraging Time

Wild chimpanzees spend almost one third or half of their day gathering food and foraging. In comparison captive chimpanzees tend to spend much less time feeding, partially because keepers provide their food in a set-time schedule. In order to increase gathering (collecting) and foraging time we have installed a range of feeders and set up different devices.

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Social Enrichment

Chimpanzees are social animals; in the wild, they live in social groups where they can interact freely with each other. We shall encourage social interaction among captive chimpanzees to simulate their natural lifestyle.

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