Tchimpounga’s Chimpanzee of the Month: B.A.!


All of the chimpanzees of Tchimpounga have a different story – many are tragic, and almost all result in a rescue from either the illegal bushmeat or exotic pet trade. Many years ago, a diplomat received a chimpanzee as a gift. Luckily, this diplomat was aware that keeping a chimpanzee as a pet is a dangerous and inhumane practice. Unsure of what to do, he brought the chimp to the Brazzaville zoo in the Republic of Congo in 1991.

At that time, the Jane Goodall Institute was collaborating with the Brazzaville zoo to care for the many chimpanzees that the Congolese Ministry was confiscating and transferring to the zoo. Happily, this chimpanzee found his way into the care of the Jane Goodall Institute’s staff, to be rehabilitated and given a happy, safe life with other chimps in a more natural environment.

This chimp is named B.A. He was originally given a full name upon arrival at the zoo, abbreviated to B.A., but this name has since been forgotten. When B.A. arrived at the zoo, he was inside of a sack, very weak, and in overall terrible condition both emotionally and physically. Thankfully, the staff of the Jane Goodall Institute took this sick chimp and gave him the care and devotion he needed and  nursed him back to wellness.

B.A. was transferred from the Brazzaville zoo to the Tchimpounga sanctuary along with his other rescued chimp companions in 1992. From early on, B.A. showed much more interest in playing with his fellow chimpanzees over interactions with human caregivers. He has always demonstrated this independence, preferring the company of his chimp friends, perhaps a result of his traumatic past and mistreatment by people. It is unfortunate that many of the rescued chimpanzees carry the burden of such terrifying memories, though it is truly a rewarding and wonderful thing to see these same chimps emerge with joy upon finding contentment with other chimps just like them in Tchimpounga. This is their second chance.


AP0399-13To receive even more wonderful stories from our rescued chimpanzees at Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, consider becoming a Chimpanzee Guardian here. Your donations allow us to keep our promise to never turn away a chimp in need, and to keep delivering expert care to our nearly 150 chimps.

Every Chimpanzee Guardian receives:
  • Bio card with photo of one of Tchimpounga’s chimpanzees
  • Custom Chimpanzee Guardian certificate
  • Exclusive art print
  • Large plush chimpanzee
  • JGI logo bumper sticker
  • Monthly updates and stories about the chimpanzees of Tchimpounga
  • Special invitations to webinars and events with JGI staff
  • And the knowledge that your support is saving lives!

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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 Director of Storytelling & Marketing for Communications & Partnerships at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she works to connect individuals with Dr. Jane Goodall's vision, and the JGI mission to create a better world for all by protecting the interconnections between people, other animals, and the environment. Ashley graduated Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology, and is pursuing a Master's of Science in Environmental Science & Policy at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on Environmental Justice. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, now a D.C. resident, she has a varied background including 10+ years of expert communications and digital marketing in the social and environmental non-profit sector. Her intersectional approach to this work has been shaped by a holistic world-view, having traveled to Madagascar and Ecuador for conservation research projects, leading communications for youth social justice filmmaking organizations, and as a part of several professional groups advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in environmental spaces including Greens REALIGN. With skills ranging from conservation fieldwork, policy and advocacy campaigns, strategic communications, art, digital media, and design, Ashley believes in sharing information to empower and in the magic of storytelling to transform hearts and minds. Through growing understanding, empathy, and justice, she is igniting positive change to create that better, more equitable world, every day.