Announcing First Ever World Chimpanzee Day This July 14th!

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After years of planning and wishing, today we finally announce the creation of the FIRST EVER World Chimpanzee Day to be celebrated on this July 14th, 2018! The Jane Goodall Institute global network of chapters and Roots & Shoots Offices celebrates World Chimpanzee Day, along with many other NGOs and individuals around the globe, in honor of the day in 1960 when our founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park to study wild chimpanzees. The day will be a celebration of our closest living relatives and all we know and continue to learn about them. It is also a rallying cry to invite participants around the world to take action in efforts to conserve this magnificent species, and improve their well-being and care in and outside of captivity. Join the celebration and learn more at worldchimpanzeeday.org!

Why We’re Celebrating

Dr Jane Goodall opened our eyes to the wonder of this extraordinary species, our relationship to these beings and our responsibility to protect them. As Dr. Goodall called attention to the remarkable behaviors and lives of wild chimpanzees and continues to advocate on their behalf, we now carry the torch, taking that message and work to conserve this species even further!

What We’re Doing

To celebrate this momentous day, we commit to invigorating the hearts and minds of global audiences, as Jane did and does, to connect to chimpanzees, learn more about them, including threats to their existence and well-being, and to take action on their behalf. We hope to share our passion and love for chimpanzees through our work to expand knowledge of wild chimpanzees with continuing research in Gombe, build holistic conservation plans and actions for chimpanzees, their habitats, and other species, while developing sustainable livelihood options for community- centered conservation initiatives, and educating and empowering a generation of compassionate, chimp-loving citizens around the world.

Why It’s Important

Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and show remarkable problem-solving abilities, memory, adaptability and complex social interactions. Chimpanzees also have strong social bonds, fascinating hierarchies, and dynamic relationships. They are great communicators who use vocalizations, facial expressions, touch, and nuanced body language to convey a wide variety of emotions with others. Chimpanzees can make tools to problem solve, something that was first observed by Dr. Jane Goodall in 1960 when she saw a chimpanzee, she named David Greybeard, in Gombe National Park creating a stick out of a twig to “fish” for termites out of a dirt mound. Chimpanzees can also learn to create tools from objects in their environment and develop behaviors like nut cracking by watching others, in their species as well as from other species.

Viena now undergoing quarenteen

Baby Vienna, a rescued chimpanzee at JGI’s Tchimpounga sanctuary

Chimps have unique personalities and are sentient beings, capable of logic and building emotional connections with other species – especially humans – and are vital members of their ecosystems, as essential “seed dispersers”, helping to ensure the life of many plant and other animal species. Chimpanzees also teach us more about humankind’s primate lineage and great ape evolutionary behavioral inheritance because we share a most recent common ancestor. What we learn from chimpanzee behaviors, especially social behaviors, has potential correlations to human behaviors and thus can help identify some of our most innate responses and behaviors.

Unfortunately, Chimpanzees are endangered on the IUCN’s Red List. At the turn of the 20th century, there were an estimated 1-2 million chimpanzees across 25 countries in Equatorial Africa. Current estimates suggest there are now as few as 340,000 chimpanzees remaining in only 21 African countries. They suffer due to threats like habitat loss, disease, fragmented populations, and illegal wildlife trafficking. In captivity, many sadly remain in biomedical research facilities around the world, and are kept as illegal pets, in roadside attractions and unaccredited zoos. Together we must work to stop these threats, improve their well-being in captive environments, and save chimpanzees!

How to Get Involved

There are so many ways to become a part of the movement to protect chimpanzees! To start, learn more about chimpanzees by visiting our website and wiki, and share your knowledge with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter using #WorldChimpanzeeDay! You can also sign up to become a Chimpanzee Guardian to support the care of our rescued chimpanzees, survivors of the illegal pet or bushmeat trade, and/or support our other community-centered chimpanzee conservation programs here.

Sample Social Messages:

  • Twitter
    Click to Tweet: https://ctt.ec/a2oTb
    “On July 14 1960, Dr. #JaneGoodall @janegoodallinst entered Gombe, Tanzania to study the lives of wild #chimpanzees. July 14 2018, we celebrate the first ever #WorldChimpanzeeDay, to honor these highly complex beings & ignite action to protect them. Join me! worldchimpanzeeday. org
  • Facebook
    Click here to share this blog
    Example Post: Did you know chimpanzees share nearly 98.6% of their genes with humans? Through the groundbreaking research of @Dr Jane Goodall and those scientists that followed her, we now know so much more about all of the behaviors we share with our great ape cousins, like tool making and use, compassion, and so many others. The more we learn, the more we must also realize our connection and responsibility to protect these complex and intelligent beings.Join me and @janegoodallinst in sharing your connection to our great ape cousins and your commitment to protect them for the first ever #WorldChimpanzeeDay on July 14th!Website: www.worldch impanzeeday.org
    Event Page: https:// www.facebook.com/WorldChimpanzeeDay/

Pant-Hoot with us for WCD!
Chimpanzees greet one another using a vocalization known as a “Pant-Hoot”, something Dr. Goodall does at every one of her lectures. Record your best Pant-Hoot and post to social media tagging #WorldChimpanzeeDay @janegoodallinst ahead of July 14th for a chance to be featured on the day!


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The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Ashley Sullivan is the Community Engagement Specialist at the Jane Goodall Institute, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. She has a varied background including conservation fieldwork, scenic painting instruction, mural collaboration, public relations, communications, digital media, graphic design, photography, and documentary filmmaking. She has contributed to the digital news production company Zazoom, LLC (Buzz60) and as Communications Coordinator at the youth-centered, social justice organization Scenarios USA. Ashley is a swashbuckling artist and ukuleleist with a passion for sharing information to empower and using media to tell stories. Through growing understanding and empathy, she believes it is possible to ignite positive change, every day.