Jane Goodall Institute

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Apr 24, 2013

Jack and DouDou, Victims of the Illegal Pet Trade

Jack and DouDou play with Jean Aime
Jack and DouDou play with Jean Aime
One evening in early March, two orphaned chimpanzees arrived at the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo. One came from the township of Dolisie, west of Tchimpounga, and the other from Mayoko, northwest of Tchimpounga, near the Gabon border. Shortly after their arrival, Tchimpounga caregivers named the young chimpanzees Jack and DouDou.

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.

DouDou
DouDou's neck after his heavy chain was removed
Jack with caregiver Jean Aime
Jack with caregiver Jean Aime

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Jan 22, 2013

Motambo the Miracle!

Motambo on the mend
Motambo on the mend

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.

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Nov 9, 2012

JGI Welcomes New Baby at Gombe National Park!

Gombe
Gombe's newest little addition

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.

 
Tanga then climbed down from the trees and traveled toward a group of chimpanzees.  Sparrow used the opportunity to try and take Tanga’s infant yet again.  This time, Titan, Fudge and Frodo were there to help Tanga.  Sheldon screamed and left while Sparrow and Tanga stayed with the group.
 
Later, when the rest of the group left, Nasa and Zeus joined Tanga.  When Nasa showed an interest in the baby, Tanga screamed and bit Nasa’s back, which prompted Nasa to leave.  Tanga and Zeus stayed together for awhile before heading on their way.  On encountering a group, Tanga followed Titan and they both climbed up a tree and began grooming.  They groomed a short time and then climbed down and went to the Busambo Valley to feed.  After they finished feeding, they followed a group and joined them at the Kidihi Valley.  This time, none of the chimpanzees in the group showed an interest in Tanga’s baby.  
 
This series of events is particularly noteworthy given Sheldon’s support of his mother, Sparrow.  Sheldon spent quite bit of time consorting with Tanga and could, therefore, be the baby’s father.  If this is true, one would think Sheldon would do more to protect the newborn.  Perhaps paternity studies will shed some light on Sheldon’s behavior.

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