Republic of the Congo

Built north of Pointe-Noire in 1992, the Tchimpounga Sanctuary is a refuge for orphaned chimpanzees whose mothers were victims of hunting. Today, more than 140 chimpanzees are housed there, most of which were seized from private individuals by the authorities.

As well as the sanctuary, the Jane Goodall Institute also manages the Tchimpounga reserve, a protected area covering more than 7,284 hectares, located near the Conkouati National Park. The programme has been able to reintroduce endangered species such as mandrills and guenons into the reserve. The reserve is also home to about fifty wild chimpanzees.

A species living on borrowed time

Currently, the central African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) is classified as “endangered” by the IUCN. Fragmentation and loss of habitat due to deforestation as well as a decline in food resources are contributing to the decline of the populations of this species. Poaching for bushmeat remains a serious problem for this species, and baby chimpanzees are captured to be sold as pets at local markets.

Conservation actions

The Jane Goodall Institute has worked for many years to protect chimpanzees in the Republic of the Congo. In addition to managing the Tchimpounga reserve and sanctuary, one of the objectives of the programme is to reintroduce groups of chimpanzees into the Conkouati National Park in collaboration with Help Congo, an association that is currently managed by Beauval Nature. The selected chimpanzees are first placed on well-forested islands, where they live in a semi-wild state so that they can relearn how to live quasi-autonomously and in social groups. Once they have undergone this long process, they can be reintroduced into the National Park. In addition to this, the team at the Jane Goodall Institute do their utmost to improve the day-to-day well-being of the individuals that cannot be reintroduced.

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