2021 Chimpanzee Updates from Tchimpounga  

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One of the cornerstones of Dr. Goodall’s ethos is the concept that non-human animals are sentient, complex, intelligent, compassionate, and have innate value. JGI caretakers at Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in Republic of the Congo witness that every day across the sanctuary’s diverse groups. 

Ramsey

Last summer, the chimpanzees on Tchimpounga’s Ngombe Island were gradually introduced to Ramsey, an adult female who had earlier been transferred to Ngombe Island from Group 2. During July, Ramsey spent time in visual proximity without physical contact. In August, she was slowly acclimated to the group. The order of integration is chosen with much contemplation and deliberation, based on the needs and personalities of each chimpanzee and their relationships with one another. The manner in which one chimpanzee may react differently if paired with a strong or aggressive ally is also an important aspect to consider. After careful implementation of her integration plan, Ramsey’s transition was very successful, with positive receptions from all of the Ngombe chimpanzees. Ramsey acclimated quickly to the much larger forest compared to the forested enclosure that she had known previously. Ramsey had been with Cheri in Group 2 prior to Cheri’s transfer to Ngombe earlier in the year, and it appeared that this previously established relationship aided in the transition. With Cheri presented to Ramsey in the first integration group, Ramsey was quick to offer a greeting and they have since been observed together within the group often.  

Kefan

Another success of the summer was the reintegration of Tchindzoulou Island’s dominant male, Kefan. He was reintegrated to the Tchindzoulou group after being placed in a smaller group to aid in the transition of another chimpanzee, Derek. Although Kefan’s absence from the larger group caused some instability and vying for control, Derek’s transition went very smoothly thanks to his good relationship with Kefan. 

Perrine

Back at the main sanctuary site, despite being the baby of the group, Perrine and her friends Kabi,Vienna, and Zeze love to play together. With a healthy diet and good friends, Perrine’s JGI caregivers have noticed her gaining more and more self-confidence! Since her rescue from the illegal wildlife trade in 2019, we are so happy to see and share Perrine’s development.

Though these chimpanzees have suffered as survivors of the illegal wildlife trade, the transformative implementation of the Chimpanzee Welfare Index and practices of Tchimpounga staff have given unrelated chimpanzees a second chance at having a family and a happy life.

Though these chimpanzees have suffered as survivors of the illegal wildlife trade, the transformative Chimpanzee Welfare Index and practices of Tchimpounga staff have given unrelated chimpanzees a second chance at having a family and a happy life. 

About Author

Kira is a Communications & Policy Assistant at the Jane Goodall Institute, where she supports the team in advancing public engagement with JGI's holistic programs. Kira graduated from Smith College in 2021, majoring in anthropology and minoring in art history, and during her time there she developed a deep interest in the field of anthrozoology. Her interests within this field are broad, and have led her to study elephant iconography in the U.S. and wildlife management in Tanzania. JGI's values and mission as well as the mindset of anthrozoology guide her work, exploring the interactions between humans and other animals in order to promote a healthier coexistence on this shared planet.