Category Archives: chimpanzee

Dr. Jane Goodall Celebrates 55 Years of Pioneering Research with Wild Chimpanzees

Dr. Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots-Kenya scale-up a nationwide youth-focused Conservation Leadership Champions initiative personally launched by Dr. Jane Goodall herself on 14 July, the same date she arrived on Africa on Kenyan soil 58 years ago on 14 July 1957. Her visit to Nairobi is to celebrate her two big milestones: her 55th Anniversary of setting up the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Research Station in Tanzania, and achieving her own 81st Birthday. The RootsAndShoots Conservation Leadership Champions initiative and Dr Jane Goodall's 81st birthday were held in a Gala Event on Monday 13th July at the Serena Nairobi Hotel.

Dr. Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots-Kenya scale-up a nationwide youth-focused Conservation Leadership Champions initiative personally launched by Dr. Jane Goodall herself on 14 July, the same date she arrived on Africa on Kenyan soil 58 years ago on 14 July 1957.

On July 14, 2015 WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu joined Dr.Jane Goodall as she celebrated 55 years of pioneering research with chimpanzees at Gombe National park in Tanzania. Her research study has become the longest running wild chimpanzee study that now generations of new researchers are continuing, taking it even further, into the world of wild chimpanzee conservation. In these last 55 years of the study, more than 165 thousand hours of data have been collected through observations of more than 320 named chimpanzees in the park. These data have yielded more than 430 academic papers and theses and supported 39 graduate students in either doctoral- or masters-level studies, thanks to Jane Goodall’s first adventure into the world of Gombe’s chimpanzees. After 55 years of research with these chimpanzees, researchers in the park have witnessed and recorded entire lifespans of individuals in Gombe. These chimpanzees have been observed from infancy to adulthood and in some cases even old age and death. ‘’These observations have shown us so much about chimpanzees’ complex social lives, personalities and intelligence’’, Jane Goodall said. ‘’From the first discovery of chimpanzees using tools to “fish” for termites, to maternal care behavior, to territoriality, hunting and meat eating, the behaviors that the Gombe chimpanzees have shown researchers are diverse and have shown us how similar they are to humans. Perhaps the most important thing that these observations have taught us though is how much chimpanzees are worth protecting’’ she added. The research, is as vibrant as ever, and now plays an important role in helping people understand chimpanzees and also informing the Jane Goodall Institute’s conservation efforts in Western Tanzania, and even in some ways across the entire chimpanzee range. Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. Her great hope is that the work at Gombe will continue to contribute both to society understanding of these amazing beings and to the survival of wild chimpanzee populations in Africa. WildlifeDirect would like to congratulate her for this great achievement.

Gabon – 13 heads and 32 ape hands siezed, 5 arrests

In one of the alarming and dramatic investigations recently,  13 great ape heads, 32 ape hands, plus 12 leopard skins, 5 elephant tails and one lion skin were siezed by the Gabonese authorities working with AALF, PALF, RALF and LAGA .

In this operation 5 dealers were arrested and are now behind bars.

Confiscated: 13 great apes heads (one for gorilla and 12 from Chimpanzees), 32 great apes hands (2 from Gorilla 30 from chimpanzees), as well as 12 leopard skins, a part of a lion skin, and 5 elephant tails.

Confiscated: 13 great apes heads (one for gorilla and 12 from Chimpanzees), 32 great apes hands (2 from Gorilla 30 from chimpanzees), as well as 12 leopard skins, a part of a lion skin, and 5 elephant tails.

While the scale of the illegal trade in ape products in West Africa is alarming, we congratulate the Gabonese authorities for this success in wildlife law enforcement. We encourage you our readers to also write to congratulate them. Write to:

Ministre des Eaux et Forêts : Fax : 00241 77 86 45 ; E-mail du secrétariat : [email protected]This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Directeur Général des Eaux et Forêts, Monsieur Kouma Zaou (mail: [email protected]This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Tél : 00241 07 94 30 27 et 00241 06 71 09 70).

Thank you

Paula Kahumbu

Tethered Sudan Chimpanzee Airlifted to Safety at Sweetwaters, Kenya

RoyWe received a release from the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance announcing that – finally – a chimp that has been spending it’s days tethered to a tree in Southern Sudan has been rescued and airlifted to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Mount Kenya. This is both a sad and happy story. While it is sad that a chimp should be treated with such cruelty, it is also uplifting that those who care were brave and persistent enough to rescue the poor primate despite the ‘long bureaucratic tug-of-war’ that lasted the better part of 10 months. Accolades are in order for the rescue team.

October 7, 2009

Sudan Chimpanzee Airlifted to Safety at Sweetwaters

A chimpanzee that spent its days tethered to a tree in Southern Sudan throughout a long bureaucratic tug-of-war was finally airlifted to safety this week and will reside permanently at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya.

The male chimpanzee, nicknamed “Roy,” is believed to be less than three years old. He is thought to have been brought into Southern Sudan in 2008 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was subsequently presented to a government official as a gift.

The gift was later withdrawn, and Roy (pictured above) was cared for by local wildlife supporters in Southern Sudan until his transfer to Sweetwaters was approved – a process that took almost 10 months to confirm. Roy will join a community of 43 orphaned chimpanzees at Sweetwaters, which is a charter member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).

“It is a huge relief to finally see this transfer completed,” said Doug Cress, executive director of PASA. “It is a testament to the dogged determination of the Sweetwaters staff and our friends in Southern Sudan that Roy now has a permanent home. There were many delays and numerous obstacles in this operation, but neither side ever gave up.”

The process took so long that a Kenyan CITES import permit issued for Roy last February eventually expired and had to be re-submitted.

Roy was collected in Southern Sudan by Sweetwaters director Martin Mulama, and the chimpanzee will spend his quarantine period at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) facility in Nairobi before moving out to the 250-acre sanctuary near Mount Kenya.

Roy was cared for in Southern Sudan by Sue and Rusty Knight, who have rescued 14 orphaned chimpanzees at their Rumbek home since 2006. Twelve of those chimpanzees were earlier transferred to another PASA member sanctuary, JGI-Chimpanzee Eden in South Africa.

Although some experts believe chimpanzees might naturally occur in the forested regions of Southern Sudan, the high number of orphans brought through the region by illegal traders indicates the chimpanzees are probably captured in DR Congo and smuggled across the border into Sudan. Chimpanzees currently arrive at PASA sanctuaries at an average of 57 per year, indicating serious levels of bushmeat activity and poaching still exist.

Roy’s rescue was supported by Aircraft Leasing Service (ALS), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and the Wildlife Conservation Authority of Sudan, along with logistical help from wildlife supporters in Southern Sudan.

PASA was formed in 2000 to unite the sanctuaries that care for thousands of rescued chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, drills and other endangered primates across Africa. For more information, please visit the PASA website  or contact [email protected].

Tough Times for our Bloggers

In the past week or so, our bloggers have been reporting some tough situations in their areas of work. From death of elephants to financial crises and other ravages of drought and the global economic crisis.

CERCOPAN of Nigeria were last week tittering on the edge of a financial cliff as they needed to raise US$ 3,333 in order to keep their premises and continue rescuing primates caught up in the deep rooted west African bushmeat trade. They launched an appeal for funds and WildlifeDirect has been helping them spread the word. As of today, they had raised US$1395 which is quite impressive. They however need some US$1,938 before the end of August to secure the 120 primates’ only place of sanctuary from the bushmeat insanity.

monkeys at Tacugama, WildlifeDirect

The Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) on Kenya is also facing a crisis with some of the most known African Elephants in the world starting to die because of the severe drought that is bringing Kenya and other east African states to their knees. They have lost valuable matriachs – and old friends – such as Echo, Grace, Isis, Leticia, Lucia, Odile, Ulla and Xenia in the last 1 year.  Echo, Isis, Leticia and Ulla have been matriarchs of their families since the 1970s. But the human hand is also dealing a blow to elephant conservation.

Ulla the elephant matriarch

Poaching is taking out the large bulls. In the last 10 days three more big males have been killed. One, Ebenezer, had his tusks cut out with a power saw. That should send a warning alarm to wildlife authorities in Africa – today’s poachers are more advanced in their brutality.

To fight these poachers, ATE has supported two ranger bases in Amboseli area. Now they need a third and need to raise US$ 10,000 to fund building the base and to keep it running. Please help them.

The bushmeat trade in western Africa is really messy and two young victims of this grim trade have arrived at Tacugama in Sierra Leone. This is in addition to the three that arrived recently and all together Tacugama has in their care 96 orphaned chimps. They are, quite literally, bursting at their seems with chimp orphans. That makes it all the more needy for funds to rehabilitate these little ones until they are ready to get back into the forest and fend for themselves. You would help them wouldn’t you?

chimp driving

While all this is going on, we at WildlifeDirect want to keep this channel open so that you and your friends can respond to these emergencies and day to day needs of the wildlife of Africa, Asia and South America.  We also need your direct support so that we can pay Internet bills, electricity, rent and staff who keep these blogs working. We want you to continue enjoying the happy moments with our bloggers. To laugh with them, and to cry with them when times are hard. After all, you don’t want to wake up one morning and find that there is no WildlifeDirect. I believe you would be worried about all the poor defenseless wildlife that have been benefiting from the existence of WildlifeDirect. Please don’t let this happen.

Italian arrested for Chimp trade in Cameroon

Here is a disturbing note from our friends in wildlife enforcement in Cameroon
Dear Supporters,

Warm greetings from Cameroon.

Chimpanzee traded by Italian in Cameroon

On Thursday a long term LAGA investigation resulted in the successful arrest of an Italian director of a logging company for illegal detention of three chimps and other illegal wildlife trophies. Relentlessly fighting corruption, we insured the foreign national getts behind bars, we monitor the prison cell every few hours, to secure justice is served rather than bought out.

 Early this year the director of the logging company was identified as a major client of protected species ordering chimps antelopes and other illegal trophies.

For sometime we have observed his activities. I do not know if he exports the animals.


Mirko Ramoni, Italian national, is the director of the company SMK operating in Ngambe Tikar. It is a small company that processes timber and exports it.

Note that for every chimp found in captivity you can calculate 9 dead chimps killed in the process (Dr. Jane Goodall estimation). The chimps are taken care of by the Limbe Wildlife Center.

While the chimps were younger than three years, the Italian claimed in his testimony that he had the chimps from 1997. We assume his motive for lying under oath is fear to be charged again for other chimps he held in past years which either died or were traded.


Corruption is observed in 85% of our cases. This case presents a higher risk for the accused to be freed. The powerful logging industry can “take care of itslef” when it comes to bribing power.


This is not the first time that a European logger is arrested on wildlife crime charges – last year a greek manager of a logging company was arrested with two chimps, he is free and we suspect corruption to be the reason why he is not now in jail.

Add to that another one of our cases againt a logging company worker near Campo Maan National Park arrested and served 3 months as a wildlife criminal.

I hope these anacdotes can serve as a wake up call in the conference halls for the huge gap between written promises and sweet words by the timber industry, to the damage their activities create in reality.

Ofir Drori

The Last Great Ape Organization

Wildlife Law Enforcement

Tel: +237-99651803


Chimpanzees in Cote d’Ivoire down by 90%

I’m sorry friends but here is even more bad news about the statue of wildlife in Africa.

West African chimpanzees have declined by 90 percent in the last 18 years in an African country that is one of the subspecies’ “final strongholds,” a new study stays.

Scientists counting the rare chimps in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) found only about 800 to 1,200 of the apes—down from about 8,000 to 12,000 in 1989-90. Ivory Coast had been thought to  harbor about half of all West African chimps.

Why? Human population, hunting and deforestation

Côte d’Ivoire’s human population has grown by about 50 percent since 1990. As a result there is more hunting and deforestation. One of the country’s sanctuaries, Marahoué National Park, has lost 93 percent of its forest cover in the last six years. The habitats are damaged and occupied by people, they are no longer suitable for chimpanzees or any other animals.

We can’t lose hope. Help us to tell and share these stories, to inspire actions, and to save Africa’s endangered species.

Chimp dealer jailed in Republic of Congo


I just received this email with good news from Congo Brazzaville that I wanted to share with you.  There are times when we get very depressed about the situation facing wildlife in Africa but then there are times when we realise that there is good reason for hope.


Deal all,

The Brazzaville court has passed the first sentence against a wildlife
dealer. The dealer (a chimp dealer arrested in December 2008) has to
stay one year in prison (plus three months since December) and pay
1,100,000 Fcfa.

We hope this first case against a wildlife dealer in Republic of Congo
will help us for the several next ones (nine cases since September
plus one in May 2009).

We have to thank the LAGA NGO (and especially its Director Ofir Drori
and one of his assistant Josias Sipehouo) for their help, the great
work they did and the motivation they gave. The PALF (Projet d’Appui à
l’Application de la Loi sur la Faune Sauvage), managed by The Aspinall
Foundation and WCS, have received a support (15,000 US Dollars) from
UNEP and now from USFWS (almost 50,000 US Dollars). The PALF has also
received an official support from the Ministry of Forest Economy and
the partnership is working.

We will progressively have to develop its activities in the whole
Republic of Congo.


Luc Mathot

Fondation Aspinall
Projet Protection des Gorilles – Congo
13977 Brazzaville

Trader arrested with dead chimpanzee – photos and video

Hi everyone,

It’s Paula here. Today we received interesting reports from LAGA, The Last Great Ape Organization who have successfully conducted several arrests of individuals involved in bushmeat trade, specifically apes.

WARNING: The photos below are disturbing so please click off now if you are sensitive.

Last week LAGA arrested a dealer in Congo who is now behind bars, and the government of DR Congo is pleased and about to sign a convention with the RALF project.

Laga is now finalizing a guidebook on wildlife law enforcement to allow their success to be replicated, including the lessons from this different approach to conservation.

In Cameroon LAGA carried out 6 arrest operations within 3 weeks :

1. A well known Internet wildlife dealer engaged in the trade of primate skulls and other protected wildlife products arrested in Buea – South West Region with the collaboration of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He had sent illegal consignments to U.S.A. 22 times and falsified the Minister’s signature and used on a falsified CITES Permit. Youtube link here

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2. A leopard skin dealer arrested in Bafoussam – West Region trying to illegally trade in a leopard skin.

3. A regular dealer supplying large quantities of protected bushmeat of protected wildlife species arrested in Foumbot – West Region.

4. A shop owner arrested trying to illegally trade in elephant teeth and leopard skin in Yaounde – Central Region. This operation was done in collaboration with a French wildlife conservation NGO – SFS.

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5. A dealer in live primates and other wildlife products was arrested trying to illegally trade in a live mandrill and the foot of an elephant in Yaounde – Central Region. His father is an accomplice and a wildlife trader with 20 years experience. Youtube link here

6. A regular dealer in protected bushmeat arrested trying to sell a full dead chimp that he had kept in a deep freezer in Douala – Littoral. He has suppliers from the Eastern part of Cameroon and sells in major cities including Douala and Bafoussam.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] Dead chimpanzee LAGA

Bushmeat trade chimpanzee - LAGA

LAGA’s experience in the fight against corruption gave birth to its sister NGO – AC – focusing on assisting victims of corruption to fight corrupt officials, it is also set to fight the problem that led to the creation of LAGA – corruption in NGO projects.

More information will be uploaded on these two sites ,

Regards from the LAGA family

This report is from LAGA The Last Great Ape Organization,Wildlife Law Enforcement

They can be reached on Tel: +237-99651803


Saving Chimpanzees

We’ve been inundated with images and stories of abuses at the Iberia research facility in the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Officials at the center deny the charges . That did not stop the Humane Society from doing the brilliant undercover work to reveal the real facts on ABC last night. We didn’t get to watch it here but judging from the conversations on the twitterverse  – the public jury is in agreement.

The video footage shows monkeys biting themselves and slamming against the bars of small cages. Other scenes show a newborn chimpanzee being taken from its mother and an adult screaming as a lab worker aims a tranquilizer gun before the animal falls sedated from a shelf to the floor.”

The Humane Society only investigated this lab but the findings make you wonder what’s happening in other labs doesn’t it? With this evidence as  a weapon, the Humane Society wants legislation to be passed that bans the use of apes in experimentation and as pets in response to the the brutal attack by a  pet chimpanzee named Travis.

If this legislation is passed it would be good for the apes right?

But it brings us to the question – what will happen to the hundreds (or is it thousands) of chimpanzees that will no longer be in research or living in human houses?  Where will they go? Sanctuaries? Who will pay for them?

I’m asking this question because African ape sanctuaries are bursting at the seams and are severely underfunded …if you read the JACK blog you will find out that there are four new baby chimps being accommodated, at Tacugama we are desperately trying to raise $15,000 to care for Solo a very clever chimp, …I hope that the focus on research chimps and chimp pets in the USA raises awareness and concern for chimps in the wild and in the sanctuaries in Africa.

If you care and you want to help just do three things for us

1. Stumble all the good posts on WildlifeDirect that you  like

2. Join us on facebook and tell everyone about what we are trying to do

3. Join twitter and tell your network about us

4. Use Goodsearch and select Wildlifedirect Inc as your charity

5. Host a dinner party to raise funds for us!

Chimpanzee attack and ape rights – two questions

Hi everyone, it’s Paula here.

In a previous job I helped rescue chimpanzees that were orphaned in Congo and Sudan due to the bushmeat and illegal pet trade.

Paula with chimp

As you can imagine, interacting with baby chimps has left an indelible mark on me, and I’m so proud of the work of our partners, Tacugama, Limbe Wildlife Center, JACK, Lola ya Bonobo and Cercopan. So, I hope you’ll understand that after listening to the 911 call which is available on Youtube I’m in a bit of a state of shock trying to come to terms with the incident of the pet chimpanzee attack in Connecticut last week. The attack has left a woman severely disfigured and profoundly traumatized. The pet chimpanzee Travis was shot dead by police. This incident prompted the U.S. House of Representatives to ban interstate trade of apes and monkeys. The new legislation cuts off easy access to apes which are sought for household companions.

Jane Goodall has spoken out on this tragedy tragedy and she says ” Travis’ case should serve as a potent reminder that chimps — no matter how human they may seem — are not cut out to be pets”. You can read the Jane Goodall’s full opinion piece and the sections Chimpanzees don’t make good pets and Chimpanzees in entertainment of her website.

So, do you agree with Goodall that the way chimps are portrayed in the public media is harmful to the species?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) certainly do and have called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to ban private ownership of exotic animals in California, citing the increasing popularity of keeping such animals as pets. The group said there have been more than 90 reported dangerous incidents nationwide involving primates since 1990.

Meanwhile in Europe politicians are fighting to give apes rights and ban their use in research and drugs testing but it’s not going smoothly. Slovenian liberal Mojca Drcar Murko, a leading European politician, says the drugs industry are guilty of excessive lobbying which she believes led politicians in parliament’s environment committee to throw out almost all her amendments aimed at further cutting the suffering of animals in laboratories. In protest, she voted against the committee’s conclusions.

The EU’s “Great Ape Debate” has already sparked controversy, with researchers arguing tests on primates are indispensible for finding cures for diseases including HIV, Alzheimer’s Disease, SARS, cancer, hepatitis and malaria.I have two more questions for you and would love to know what you think

1. Do you agree with PETA Should people be allowed to keep exotic pets? 

2. Should apes be used in research and drugs testing?