Jane Goodall Institute

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Feb 23, 2016

Ngoro Moves In With Old Friends

Ngoro Resting in Her Enclosure
Ngoro Resting in Her Enclosure

Ngoro was rescued and brought to Tchimpounga in 2005. She was confiscated by the wildlife authorities in Pointe Noire. Like many rescued chimpanzees brought to Tchimpounga, Ngoro was very thin and depressed. She sat hugging herself and was barely able to move. The staff worked very hard to rehabilitate her, not only physically, but also psychologically. Once she had recovered enough, she was integrated with the four other chimpanzees that had arrived that year. After which, they were integrated into larger social group of chimpanzees of similar age.


Ngoro has also struggled with health problems. She would usually be the first to get sick in her chimpanzee group, and never really put on weight like the others. After many tests, she was found to have gastric ulcers. The origin of the ulcers is unknown –they could be due to her poor health before being rescued, or not being able to handle the stress of a big social group. Regardless, the Tchimpounga team decided she needed to live with a smaller social group, one where she could manage her stress as best as possible, while still having the company of other chimpanzees.


The first move was to put her with Podive, another chimpanzee who has special health issues and has to be separated from the larger social groups. At night time, Podive and Ngoro were neighbours with chimpanzees named La Vielle and Lemba, and some of the other younger chimpanzees. As smart as they are, many chimpanzees are escape artists and manage to jump from one enclosure to another; despite all attempts to prevent them from doing so. Ngoro, is one of those chimpanzees who likes to do so, and often got herself into the same enclosure as La Vielle and Lemba. She loved the time she had with the younger chimpanzees, and especially her time with Lemba.


Ngoro is also a very empathetic chimpanzee, one who has been very caring of others. Another one of her neighbours was Lounama, who has a heart condition. As such a caring chimpanzee, Ngoro would often share her food through the mesh to Lounama. While this was a lovely gesture, unfortunately it could not be allowed to continue, because Lounama needs to remain on a very strict diet due to her heart condition. So, the team decided it was better to let Ngoro go and live with La Vieille and Lemba. This would allow her to continue being the caring and social chimpanzee that she is, without putting Lounama at risk. This has been a great treat for both Ngoro and Lemba, who have become very close over the last few months

Ngoro and Lemba Spend Time Together
Ngoro and Lemba Spend Time Together
Ngoro
Ngoro

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Oct 27, 2015

Bailiele's New Adventure

Bailiele relaxes on Tchibebe
Bailiele relaxes on Tchibebe

When young Bailiele arrived at Tchimpounga in 2007, he came to a sanctuary full of young orphaned chimpanzees just like him. In that year, JGI took ten chimpanzee infants into care at Tchimpounga...many more than we usually see in an average year.

While this was a very challenging time for Tchimpounga’s staff, who had their hands full caring for 10 young chimpanzees who needed round-the-clock care, it was a wonderful time for Bailiele and the rest of the chimps. After the trauma of being taken from their mothers at such a young age, they now got to heal physically and emotionally with a group of peers to help them figure out chimpanzee society.

Today, Bailiele’s adventures are far from over. Not too long ago, JGI began the process of getting Bailele ready to move to Tchibebe Island, one of Tchimpounga’s new island sanctuary sites. Unlike his time at the main sanctuary site, on Tchibebe Bailiele will have a lush forest in which to roam and play with his fellow island chimps.

To help ease the transition, Bailiele was introduced to the island along with his friend Leki. Both chimps were able to explore the island at their own pace under the watchful eye of their caregivers. Bailiele was a little nervous at first, but soon calmed down enough to climb a few trees and reacquaint himself with a few old chimpanzee friends who have already been moved to Tchibebe. We at JGI are so happy that Bailiele will soon be able to call Tchibebe home!

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Oct 27, 2015

Jeje's Antics

Jeje
Jeje

Most days, Jeje is allowed to go explore a little patch of forest in the Tchimpounga reserve with the rest of his group, Group 4, and his Tchimpounga caregivers. However, when wild chimpanzees are seen in the forests near Tchimpounga, it isn’t safe to bring the little chimps of Group 4 out to play. Instead they play in their outdoor enclosure, which can be a bit boring for a boisterous chimp like Jeje.

Like a young child, Jeje sometimes resorts to annoying others to relieve his boredom. One day when the chimps were not able to go into the forest to play, Jeje’s friend Mondele decided to play a game where he attempts to keep an object balanced on his back for as long as possible. Mondele placed a small rock carefully on his back, and began to walk through the enclosure.

Seeing this, Jeje decided to create his own game; trying to knock the rock off of Mondele’s back. His tactics were kicking at Mondele’s feet and slapping the rock away with his hands. When Mondele finally had enough and turned to hit Jeje, Jeje cried out ... and then convinced Mondele to apologize to him!

Jeje then went off to play with his groupmates Alex and Antonio, who were busy digging a hole in the dirt. This game seemed to bore Jeje, and he started to walk away. Before leaving, however, he couldn’t help but look back and push Alex into the hole he was digging! Alex chased Jeje to get him back, but Jeje got away. Hopefully Group 4 is able to return to the forest soon, and Jeje’s friends can get a respite from his antics.

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