Jane Goodall Institute

The Jane Goodall Institute advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things.
Dec 27, 2016

Yoko On the Islands

Yoko
Yoko

On the new sanctuary site of Tchindzoulou Island, the dormitory has been completed. This milestone will not bring great change to Yoko and his companions, who are already living on the island. So far this small group has had this giant island all to themselves, but from now on, they will have to share this space with a number of other chimpanzees who will begin arriving early in 2017. This moment will be crucial in the history of Tchimpounga. About one hundred chimpanzees will have the opportunity to enjoy the forested islands of Ngombe, Tchibebe, and Tchindzoulou.

This achievement has been the fruit of the support of the partners and donors of the Jane Goodall Institute around the world. Without them, these chimpanzees would remain in the rescue center's original facilities, which were too small to give every chimpanzee the room to play and explore that he or she needed.

Yoko, who is now one of the leaders of his group, will be challenged by other large males in who will arrive in the next transfers of chimpanzees. At the moment, JGI caregivers continue to take care of Yoko and his companions every day. Feeding them is important of course, but definitely presents a challenge. The caregivers have to approach the shore of the island carefully and dock the boat between two poles that are anchored to the bottom of the river. From there they are close enough to the edge of the water where they can unload the food for the chimpanzees, but far enough away that the daring chimpanzees, like Yoko, can’t jump in and steal all of the food for themselves. While he’s currently the alpha of the group, Yoko demands that he be first in line to receive food when it arrives. After January though, who knows if he will be able to continue making such demands!

In many of the chimpanzees who have moved to the islands, there is clear evidence that they are improving physically. Yoko is a perfect example of this. His body has now become quite muscular, especially in his arms and legs. His hair has become dense and shiny. His face is full of life and joy.

Dec 6, 2016

Mambou: Future Leader

Mambou
Mambou
In recent months, the caregivers of Tchimpounga have watched Mambou try to consolidate his position as the leader of Group Four. 

Mambou may not be the strongest male group, but his personality is that of a leader’s. JGI’s team is confident that in a few years Mambou will become a dominant alpha male. 

As with children, one can get a sense of a future adult chimpanzees’ personality by observing that chimpanzees personality as a youngster. Some are submissive, some dominant, some are gregarious, some are misunderstood, and others, like Mambou, are leaders.

Gradually Mambou and other chimps are getting a group together to support him in his future leadership bid. Antonio and Sam have now joined the clan. They are all forming a select group of males who will dominate the group within a few years. Now it seems like a game, but gradually everything will be taken much more seriously.

A group of chimpanzees requires that the hierarchy is well organized, as it is in human society. A successful group needs a leader who is bright, intelligent and knows how to  make the right decisions in difficult or dangerous situations. Mambou seems to possess these leadership qualities.

At the moment Mambou is content to stroll through his group’s enclosure with slightly bristled hair, performing regular displays and reminding other chimpanzees with a kick or shove who the leader is!
Sep 7, 2016

Lemba's New Friend

Lemba at Tchimpounga
Lemba at Tchimpounga

Lemba is healthy and growing. Years ago, her legs were paralyzed by polio, but she has learned to move around with great skill and amazing speed.

Recently, the caregivers at Tchimpounga had to make the difficult decision to stop bringing several of the youngest chimpanzees to visit Lemba and La Vielle’s enclosure. It has become too difficult to walk these rambunctious youngsters from their enclosure to Lemba’s enclosure. The last few times they attempted this, two of the young chimpanzees got away from the caregivers and climbed to the ceiling of the bedrooms. The caregivers had to chase the two of them for hours before they managed to get them back out into the enclosure with the other chimpanzees. They are growing up and entering that age where they are mischievous, and interested primarily in their own agenda.

Lemba now spends her days in the company of La Vielle,  an older chimpanzee with whom she has developed a good relationship. They do not have conflicts and they both spend a lot of time grooming and cleaning each other’s hair. A few days ago, an interesting thing happened to Lemba.

A new chimpanzee named Falero who came to Tchimpounga recently ended his quarantine period. Dr. Rebeca A., the director of Tchimpounga, decided to introduce Falero to Lounama, a chimpanzee with a heart condition at Tchimpounga who must be isolated from other chimpanzees while she is on a special diet and strict monitoring.

Lounama’s enclosure is next to Lemba’s, and the whole time while caregivers were introducing Falero and Lounama, Lemba watched every detail through the fence. She was so excited that she started screaming uncontrollably. She was so happy to have a new neighbor.

Falero, a quiet and sweet natured chimpanzee, was a little unsure of Lounama at first, but he was quickly reassured by Lounama giving him gentle strokes and grooming. Soon Lemba also started to relax. La Vielle was also watching with interest. These four chimpanzees, Lounama, La Vielle, Falero and Lemba are in these special enclosures for different reasons, but are now neighbors and a little group of their own.

 
   

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