The rainy season is here, and the weather at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo has become extremely hot and humid. At the sanctuary, chimpanzees and their human caregivers are always trying to find ways to escape the sweltering heat.
One day Lemba, a chimpanzee who has taken on the role as “surrogate mother” to a number of infant chimpanzees at the sanctuary, had enough with the heat. After trying to cool off by hanging from a high tree branch, Lemba snuck away from the other chimpanzees and her caregivers.
Within her enclosure, walking around the food preparation building, she stopped near an outside water tap. Quietly, Lemba moved a nearby wheelbarrow so it sat under the tap’s spout, and turned on the water. Soon, Lemba was cooling off in her new pool! A few moments later, Zola, a young chimpanzee from Lemba’s group, came over to investigate and splash with Lemba.
Alerted by the sound of splashing water, Lemba’s caregiver Angel soon discovered what Lemba was up to. Lemba tried to escape, but accidentally tipped the wheelbarrow over and soaked everyone!
Lemba is a very intelligent chimpanzee who keeps her caretakers on their toes, and we are sure that it won’t be long before she thinks of another unique way to stay cool in the coming weeks.
Group Three, at the Jane Goodall Institute's (JGI) Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabiliatation Center in the Republic of Congo where chimpanzee Timi lives, has been very quiet for the past few weeks. Little does this small community know what awaits them. At the moment, the JGI-Congo team is working diligently to get Group Three ready for transport to Tchibebe Island, Tchimpounga’s expanded sanctuary site. The island lies in the middle of the Kouilou River and is forested with trees that produce wild fruits so important to the chimpanzee diet.
Kudia was one of the first Tchimpounga chimpanzees to be transferred to Tchindzoulou Island, JGI's lush island sanctuary site in the Republic of Congo. She received this special honor because of her independent and courageous nature, as well as her excellent health.
The younger of the two is Jack. He is approximately three years old and arrived with a rope tied around his neck. At first, Jack was tired and disoriented, but he quickly warmed to his new surroundings, as well as to the delicious fresh fruit provided by Tchimpounga’s caregivers.
DouDou, the older chimpanzee who is approximately five years old, was found chained to a car. Upon his arrival, sanctuary caregivers cut a heavy collar from around his neck. They found that he had virtually no hair underneath the collar because of the weight of it rubbing against his skin. He also behaved very erratically. Based on his condition, the caregivers believe that he was left shackled to the car for almost three years.
Seasoned Tchimpounga caregiver Jean Aime began working patiently with Jack and DouDou, habituating them to their new environment and making sure they felt safe and comfortable. Jean Aime will stay with the youngsters throughout their two- to three-month quarantine period to help ease their transition.
The morning after their arrival, Jack and DouDou seemed to be altogether different chimps. They were playing with each other and displayed more confidence. They seemed to feel secure with Jean Aime and were more at ease now that they were far from the horrors of the past.
To help Jack and DouDou settle into their new home and to ensure that the Tchimpounga staff is always ready to respond when traumatized chimpanzees arrive, please make a gift to the Jane Goodall Institute today.
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