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.
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.
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!
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