Taronga heads to the Jungles to help Chimpanzees

Taronga heads to the Jungles to help Chimpanzees

Taronga Zoo is heading into the jungles of central Africa

again to help Chimpanzee Champion Jane Goodall.

Soon Zoo staff, including veterinarian Dr Kimberley

Vinette-Herrin, will be heading to the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga

Chimpanzee Sanctuary to help chimpanzees rescued from poachers and the pet


Mr Kerr said: “This is the latest chapter in a long partnership that began

with our contribution to the global Chimpanzoo research project and continued

with our joint involvement in Uganda’s  N’Gamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.”

“Not only is the Zoo contributing funds raised by our Taronga Foundation

to Tchimpounga, which is the Africa’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary, but we are

also providing expert advice on the ground, sending specialists in veterinary

science, behavioural research and capital works.  Dr Vinette- Herrin is scheduled to conduct

over 60 general examinations and we’ll be looking at other staff placements and

partner projects to help.”

On World Environment Day, June 5, the Zoo’s Director,

Cameron Kerr, announced $150,000 in funding for Dr Goodall’s Tchimpounga

Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre.

Dr Goodall said in

June: “With this, we will be able to move faster towards securing operational support

for Chimpanzee rescue and reintroduction, building a new island sanctuary for unreleaseable chimpanzees, upgrading the

original site as a quarantine centre and staging site for the release program,

expanded law enforcement to stop illegal great ape hunting and developing an

Education Centre catering for 2000 plus students per year.

Tchimpounga was

established in 1992 by JGI and the Congolese Ministerie de le Economie

Forestiere (MEF) to hold 60 orphaned or rescued chimpanzees. There are now over

140 chimpanzees in care at the site 35 km north of Point Noire, Congo’s second

largest city. The sanctuary includes dry open savannah, densely wooded gorges,

flood plains and mangroves. There is heavy bushmeat pressure to supply markets

in the nearby city of Pointe Noir, but things have improved since the area was


The Zoos’ funding

will help with re-construction and expand the centre’s capacity. The  TCRC was established in The Congo in 1992 to

rehabilitate orphaned chimpanzees. Originally

designed for 60 chimpanzees, it now houses 141.

Taronga’s work

with the JGI has included support of Dr Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Youth

Program, founding partnership for the N’gamba Chimpanzee Refugee on an island

in Lake Victoria and contribution to the global Chimpanzoo Observational

research project.