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Why does the Jane Goodall Institute help chimpanzees?

50 years ago Jane Goodall began what is now the longest running field research project into chimpanzees. They were her inspiration for helping conserve the environment and help local communities who have to live in harmony with chimpanzees for both to survive. She did not want her grandchildren to live in a world where there were no more chimpanzees. Chimpanzees also tell us much about human development as they are our closest relatives in the animal world. New scientific discoveries are still being made through humane research at the Gombe based world class research centre.

Why do you include support for community and conservation projects in what you do?

Communities, conservation and chimpanzees are inseparably linked. A future for one relies on a future for all.  Local communities are responsible for the local environment, and are the custodians of conservation initiatives that allow them and the chimpanzees to have a sustainable future.

Why is there a youth education part of your work?

Working on today’s problems is a waste of time if we do not leave the work in the hands of caring competent people in the future. Young people are responsible for the future of our planet, and inspiring them to take part in that future and see themselves as part of the whole world is a key part of Jane Goodall’s vision. 

How many chimpanzees do you have in your sanctuaries?

JGI operates the largest chimpanzee sanctuary and rehabilitation centre in Africa at Tchimpounga in the Congo basin. Although Tchimpounga reserve was intended for around 60 chimpanzees it now houses 144 plus 6 Mandrills and 4 monkeys.  There are around 45 chimpanzees at Ngamba, in Uganda.

How many people have you helped?

It’s impossible to say just how far our outreach has extended to improve the lives of people around the world, but here are some figures that might help: 138,885 people in 24 villages in the Gombe ecosystem alone, a further 5 villages in the Masito-Ugalla ecosystem, plus  a thousand of the most vulnerable children in Kigoma with food, healthcare and education, around 8,000 students given HIV/AIDS and reproductive health counselling in Uganda and over 2,000 children in schools given equipment to help them learn.

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots groups in 120 countries also involve hundreds of thousands of children working to help their local and global community.

Can I choose what project or sanctuary to help?

You can directly adopt a chimpanzee at Tchimpounga Sanctuary through our Chimp Guardian programme. The money raised goes to help all of the chimps at Tchimpounga. We are also happy to discuss the focus of substantial support that can make a difference to a particular programme.

What does  Dr Jane Goodall do now?

Jane Goodall is on the road more than 300 days per year. At any given time, she could be on any continent. On any given day, she could be speaking to a group of students, meeting with government officials to discuss conservation issues, sitting before television cameras being interviewed, or meeting with donors to raise money for JGI.

Can I get a chimpanzee as a pet?

No, it is illegal to keep a chimpanzee as a pet in the UK.  Click here to read more about Jane’s views on keeping chimps as pets.

I saw a chimpanzee in a zoo and it looked really cold and unhappy – what does the Jane Goodall Institute think about chimpanzees in zoos?

In l984 Jane initiated JGI’s ChimpanZoo programme in a selected group of American zoos. While this has a research component, one of its main functions is to improve the lives of the individual chimpanzees, especially through providing enrichment activities. Keepers and administrators are involved, and once a year a conference brings together zoo staff and researchers to share information and discuss problems.

ChimpanZoo is being implemented in various other countries around the world today. Unfortunately there are hundreds of chimpanzees kept in extremely poor conditions even today. Sometimes it is possible to close such zoos and move animals into sanctuaries. (Which JGI has done in Congo Brazzaville and, for some chimpanzees, in Uganda).  Often, though, the best we can do is to enrich the lives of the prisoners as much as possible. And we have manuals, translated into various languages, describing simple ways to provide enrichment.

In an ideal world all animals would live lives of freedom in the wild, safe from interference by human beings. The sad reality is that a relatively large proportion of the remaining wild chimpanzees live surrounded by human induced dangers. A good zoo can provide a home for animals that may be preferable to many places in the wild, and which is, of course, infinitely preferable to a life of servitude in medical research laboratories or entertainment (circus, movies, advertising).

Isn’t it important to help cure people from diseases to be able to test on chimpanzees because they’re so close to us in the animal kingdom?

A large percentage of testing is useless, and should be stopped today. - Dr. Jane Goodall

"Biomedical research involving the use of living animals began in an era when scientists, at least during the hours they spent in the lab, maintained that animals were mere machines, incapable of feeling pain or any other emotion. Animal research [has become] … by and large, taken for granted–the accepted way of gaining new knowledge about disease, its treatment and prevention. And, too, the accepted way of testing all manner of products [medical and otherwise], destined for human use, before they go on the market.

"Of course I would like to see the lab cages standing empty.  So would every caring, compassionate human, including most of those who work with animals in biomedical research.”

"Alternatives: Already, in many fields of research and testing, the growing concern for animal suffering has led to major advances in the development of techniques such as tissue cultures, in vitro testing, and computer simulation and so on. Much understanding of disease has derived from epidemiology and clinical observation.

"Need: [Animals] should be used only for the most pressing projects that have clear-cut health benefits for many people and contribute significantly to the alleviation of human suffering. Other uses of animals in the labs should be stopped immediately, including the testing of cosmetics and household products.

"Humane treatment: As long as animals are used in our labs for any reason whatsoever, they should be given the most humane treatment possible and the best living conditions.

"Mindset: Instead of saying "Sadly we shall always need to use some animals for some purposes" we should say "This abuse of animals is not ethical. Let us therefore get together and use our awesome intellect to speed up the day when this practice is a thing of the past."

Can I get in touch with Jane Goodall?

Jane enjoys hearing from people interested in chimpanzees and in her work. She receives hundreds of letters and answers as many as she can, particularly letters from children. Those she can't find the time to answer she passes along to colleagues who respond on her behalf.

How do I ask Dr Goodall to speak at my school, event or for an interview?

Jane Goodall welcomes the opportunity to speak to groups in both public and private settings. She travels and speaks more than 300 days per year, and her schedule is booked up far in advance. Unfortunately, Dr. Goodall receives far more speaking invitations than she is able to accept. Venues at which Dr. Goodall speaks include: public and university lectures, Corporate events, Schools 

To request an appearance please send an email to ??? including the following information: 

  • Contact information:  Organisation name, Name of primary contact, Primary contact's email address, mailing address and phone number, Type of event (lecture, keynote, luncheon, school event, etc.)
  • Event information: Is the event public or private? If it is private, who is the sponsoring organisation and will they benefit from Dr. Goodall's appearance? Event venue (name of hall, school, etc.). Event address. Proposed date(s) and time(s) of the event, including alternate dates if possible. Preliminary event schedule (if available). Number of expected attendees. Audience demographic (i.e. general public, students, educators, scientists, business people, etc.). If tickets will be sold, please provide price range.
  • Speaker's fee offered
  • Any other pertinent information (250 words max.)

Dr. Goodall and her team seriously consider each request and weigh them against her limited time and increasing demands. We will respond to each request as promptly as possible; please allow 2-3 weeks for processing. Please consider other Jane Goodall Institute speakers if Dr. Goodall is unable to accept your invitation

Can I visit the JGI projects or chimpanzees in Africa?

JGI UK have a travel partner – Steppes Discovery Travel, with whom we have arranged a special itinerary for travel to see the original and continuing site of research at Gombe in Tanzania. Please contact us for more information on any planned trips.

You can also visit Ngamba Island sanctuary in Lake Victoria: www.ngambaisland.org, and the Budongo Forest Reserve eco-tourism project:http://www.traveluganda.co.ug/budongo.asp, or the South African Chimp Eden: http://www.janegoodall.co.za/index.htm

I’m doing a project on chimpanzees – can you help?

Please look through our website, the list of links, and at the Jane Goodall Institute US website (www.janegoodall.org)for more information www.janegoodall.org/study-corner If you still need help, get in touch and we’ll try and point you in the right direction.


Latest Chimp Rescue
Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Jane Goodall Institute South Africa is pleased to announce that an infant Chimpanzee in Equatorial Guinea (orphaned by the illegal Bushmeat Trade) has now been safely rescued
thanks to phenomenal teamwork...

Open the PDF Document >>>

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