Jean-Pascal: La Vallee Des Singes, Curator

Jean-Pascal was born in the north of France in 1972. He studied psychology at University of Reims (capital of Champagne!) and Ethology in Paris. He has a Master Degree in Applied Ethology and behaviour Chronobiology, during which he studied dog behaviour.  So began a career based around animals.

 After meeting his wife and finishing university, Jean-Pascal started as a trainee keeper in La Vallée des Singes in 2001, where he worked first with mandrills, colobus and guenons. His hard work resulted in him being offered work as a seasonnal keeper in 2002 to take care of three species of lemurs, barbary macaques and siamangs. And at the end of this season,  he was hired fulltime as a gorilla keeper.

Jean-Pascal worked as the head gorilla keeper until the end of 2008. At this time, he became the General Curator of the zoo,  a job he does today, and was instrumental in helping Kibali find a home in Australia.

Jean-Pascal loves his job, and although he doesn’t work as closely with the gorillas as he once used to, they are still his favourite. But he also loves  bonobos too, and lemurs, and all other primates!

La Valle des Singes, really is a family affair for Jean-Pascal.  His wife also works there as keeper for Squirrel Monkeys, Wooly Monkeys, Saki Monkeys, Titi Monkeys, Emperor Tamarins, Gelada Baboons and Yellow-breasted Capuchins.  Their  two children, a 5 year old girl, and 2.5 year old boy, have grown up surrounded by the most amazing primates in the world, and like all ‘zoo children’ seem to find a fasciation, not in the exotic, but rather the goats that graze near their dad’s office!

Apart from his general curatorial tasks, Jean Pascal is also responsible for the breeding programmes for White-throated Capuchins and Red Faced Spider Monkeys.  He is also part of the species committee of the breeding programmes for Peruvian Squirrel Monkeys, Titi Monkeys, Wooly Monkeys, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, White-bellied Spider Monkeys, Bonobos and Gorillas.

 

 

As if that isn’t enough for one person to look after, Jean-Pascal is also Secretary for the La Vallee des Singes conservation trust named "Conservatoire pour la Protection des Primates" which is supporting in situ conservation projects worldwide, for primates.

“Our main programme is based in Peru and is working for Andean titi (Callicebus oenanthe) monkeys conservation.  Because conservation is the main goal of all my work and of all my life,” says Jean-Pascal.