Help Feed over 150 Orphaned Chimpanzees

by Jane Goodall Institute
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.


Jeje enjoying his favorite food!
Jeje enjoying his favorite food!

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!

Baby Anzac
Baby Anzac

Recently, Tchimpounga staff members welcomed a new arrival: a baby girl named Anzac. She was named Anzac because she came to the sanctuary on ANZAC Day (April 25, 2012), and because, like many war veterans, she sadly has lost an arm.

When she arrived, Anzac was so small that the vet team had to weigh her using a food scale.  She weighed a mere 2.7 kilograms, making her one of the smallest chimps to arrive at the sanctuary. The staff at Tchimpounga is dedicated to making sure that Anzac is getting the care and attention she needs to grow into a healthy young chimpanzee.

Lemba and a friend
Lemba and a friend

Meet Lemba, A Very Special Chimpanzee

Lemba’s legs don’t work anymore because of the effects of polio, a disease that she is being treated for at Tchimpounga. Lemba is growing rapidly and will be very large and heavy in a few months, making it even more difficult for her to get around.  For this reason, Tchimpounga caregivers are getting Lemba used to being carried in a wheelbarrow. Lemba is also being trained to act as a future surrogate mother for infant chimpanzees at the sanctuary.

Lemba can be mischievous, and likes to play with her caregiver's shoes. The caregivers at Tchimpounga are very patient and allow the small chimpanzee to nip, hit, and hide their sandals. Occasionally, Lemba puts her hands inside her caregivers' shoes as if they were gloves and slides around on the grass in the sanctuary garden!

Lemba is an amazing chimpanzee. Despite her physical limitations, Lemba performs exercises every day during the games Tchimpounga's caregivers have created for her. The games help restore her agility and arm strength. We can learn so much from Lemba!

Lemba playing with some shoes
Lemba playing with some shoes
Lemba doing her exercises
Lemba doing her exercises


Little Antonio, Tchimpounga
Little Antonio, Tchimpounga's newest arrival

In January, the first confiscated chimpanzee of the year arrived at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center. The chimpanzee was confiscated by authorities in northern Congo and lived with the local chief of police for a month before being transferred to Brazzaville Zoo. Staff at the Aspinall Foundation, an organization that works on gorilla conservation in the Congo, collected and cared for the chimp until he was able to be flown to Pointe Noire, where our team at Tchimpounga took over the permanent care of the little fellow.

We named him Antonio-“A” because he was the first confiscation of the year. We pray that he will be the last.

Tchimpounga's veterinary team immediately conducted a thorough exam of Antonio. He weighed in at five kilograms and was estimated to be one year old. The vets discovered that Antonio had parasites, which are very common when young chimps undergo stress and trauma. Antonio will be treated and tested regularly for the next three months while he is in quarantine.

Antonio’s new mom is Simone, one of our experienced caregivers. Simone will see Antonio through his first three months at the sanctuary. After that time, Antonio will start spending more time integrating with other chimps of the same age and size.  He will most likely join Lemba’s little group, which also includes Mbebo and Alex.

At Tchimpounga, Antonio will have a second chance at life and hopefully return to his native forest one day.



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Organization Information

Jane Goodall Institute

Location: Vienna, Virginia - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Brittany Cohen-Brown
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Vienna, Virginia United States

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