Group Three, at the Jane Goodall Institute's (JGI) Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabiliatation Center in the Republic of Congo where chimpanzee Timi lives, has been very quiet for the past few weeks. Little does this small community know what awaits them. At the moment, the JGI-Congo team is working diligently to get Group Three ready for transport to Tchibebe Island, Tchimpounga’s expanded sanctuary site. The island lies in the middle of the Kouilou River and is forested with trees that produce wild fruits so important to the chimpanzee diet.
Timi and the rest of Group Three will soon enjoy exploring the island’s vast expanse of rainforest without the threat of poachers, predators, or other chimpanzees. Once on the island, the JGI caretakers will still monitor the chimps, providing them with food to supplement what they forage so that their diets remain similar their regime at the original sanctuary site.
Preparing the island for the chimpanzees’ arrival has been no small task. The JGI-Congo team is in the process of building a dormitory and a food preparation building for the chimps on the island. These facilities will allow the staff to conduct veterinary interventions, as well as chimpanzee integrations. The concrete foundations of the dormitory and food preparation building are done, and the walls will go up shortly. As soon as these buildings are ready, Timi and his Group Three mates will be gradually transferred to Tchibebe.
JGI staff members are looking forward to the chimps’ move to the island. The enclosure currently housing Group Three is suffering from overuse and is becoming devoid of natural forest vegetation. On the island, however, Timi and the rest of Group Three will finally get a chance to improve their forest-living skills in an enriching environment.
The entire Tchibebe Island project could only be completed with the help of JGI’s donors and partners. On behalf of Timi and his friends, thank you for your efforts to improve the lives of the Tchimpounga chimpanzees.