Chimpanzees face a number of serious threats, including habitat destruction and the illegal poaching of animals for bushmeat. Habitat loss results from commercial logging, slash-and-burn agricultural practices and various mining activities. The Jane Goodall Institute works to eliminate these threats in the fight to save this precious species.
One of the animal world's most incredible stories of resilience and happy endings came to a quiet close in December 2008: Gregoire, Africa's oldest-known chimpanzee and a national hero in the Republic of Congo, died in his sleep. Caretakers found Gregoire dead in his bed of eucalyptus leaves at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, JGI's sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees. News of Gregoire's death brought messages of condolence and sympathy to Jane and JGI from around the world.
Maternal bonds are a critical part of chimpanzee development. This video looks at Fifi, one of Gombe's most successful mothers, and how she cared for and nurtured her offspring.
Gombe's twin females are an adventurous pair with a taste for flying termites.
Jane Goodall's discovery that chimpanzees make and use tools changed the way scientists defined Man. The Gombe chimpanzees fashion several kinds of tools, including probes for "fishing" termites out of mounds.
Currently, Africa has one of the highest population growth rates in the world. The continent’s 1999 population of 767 million people is projected to have more than doubled by 2050, according to UN population figures.
Sanctuary chimpanzee pictured. JGI does not endorse approaching or handling wild chimpanzees.
At the turn of the 20th Century, they numbered between 1 and 2 million . . . now there are estimated to be fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild. Incredibly—over the past 100 years—we may have lost as many as 1.7 million of the chimpanzees that roamed the forests of Africa.
When a 26-year-old Jane Goodall first arrived at the then Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in the British protectorate of Tanganyika, she brought only, her binoculars and notebooks.
Jane Goodall made lots of important scientific studies during more than 35 years at Gombe. The most surprising was this: Chimpanzees make their own tools!
One morning in November 1960, Jane spotted two chimps, David Graybeard and Goliath, squatting on a termite mound. As she watched, David picked up a small twig, stripped off the leaves, and poked this tool into a termite mound to get termites.