Young Motambo was the last chimpanzee to arrive at Tchimpounga in 2012. He was confiscated from a boat arriving at the Brazzaville Port on October 9 by authorities and officials from the local non-governmental organization PALF (Projet d'Appui à l'Application de la Loi Faunique), which is funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Aspinall Foundation. Naftali, a PALF project coordinator, was tipped off a few days before that a young chimpanzee would be on the boat.
Motambo was transferred to Tchimpounga, suffering from horrific gashes on his wrist and hips. Motambo had contracted tetanus from these wounds, an infection so severe that the little chimp was unable to move his limbs or open his mouth without extreme pain. Due to the fact that the chimp's wounds were likely caused by illegal snare traps, JGI staff decided to name him Motambo, which means snare in the local language.
When Motambo arrived, JGI's team worked nonstop to stabilize the chimpanzee, who slowly began to improve under their constant care. In a few weeks, Motambo's wounds were almost fully healed and he was able to eat and drink on his own again. Though Motambo is still not fully recovered from his ordeal, he is in safe hands and will now be able to live and play with the other young chimpanzees who call Tchimpounga home.
On the morning of October 8, 2012, Gombe field assistants saw Tanga with a new baby. They tried to alert others researchers in the field who were closer to Tanga, but before any of them could get a good look at the newborn, Sparrow tried to take Tanga’s infant with help from Sheldon, Sparrow’s son. Tanga screamed and Faustino ran to help her, displaying in such a fashion that Sparrow and Sheldon scattered.
JeJe is one of Tchimpounga’s newest additions, having arrived in June 2012. Like most chimpanzees who come to Tchimpounga, Jeje arrived sick, malnourished and suffering from parasites. It took a great deal of time and veterinary care to make Jeje healthy again.
Staff at Tchimpounga not only need to worry about young chimps’ physical health, but must address their psychological health as well. Chimps like Jeje who come to the sanctuary as babies need constant contact to enable them to develop normally by developing strong emotional bonds. Chimps are incredibly social animals that thrive on constant interaction with others in their group, so a high level of physical contact at an early age is necessary for any chimpanzee’s well being.
Due to being separated from his mother at such a young age, Jeje was not given a chance to start eating wild fruits from the forest like a young chimp normally would. Because of this, his teeth have not experienced the usual wear-and-tear and instead remain very white and prominent, giving Jeje a comical appearance. Jeje now enjoys using those impressive teeth to bite into watermelons, his favorite food!
Help us care for orphaned chimps like Jeje by donating to this project today!