An Update on ChimpanZoo

The Jane Goodall Institute Reviewing Program Goals and Structure 

Like many other nonprofits, the Jane Goodall Institute is facing challenging times as a result of the current economic downturn and we have had to make some tough budgetary decisions. We have carefully analyzed the Institute’s various programs to see how we can best move forward. One of several programs affected is ChimpanZoo.

As of July 1, 2009, we are temporarily scaling back the activities of the ChimpanZoo Research, Education and Enrichment Program. ChimpanZoo’s website will continue to operate and the program’s database and files are being relocated to the Institute’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

In the coming months, the Institute’s senior management and board will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the best structure for ChimpanZoo’s sustainable continuation into the future. Dr. Virginia Landau, vice president and director of ChimpanZoo for the past 21 years, will retire from her position, but will continue in an advisory capacity. In addition, she will be planning the 2010 ChimpanZoo conference and aiding in the celebration of Dr. Goodall’s career and the 50 years of continuous research of the wild chimpanzees at Gombe National Park in Tanzania. In September 2009, Dr. Landau will also speak at the Association of American Zoos and Aquariums meeting in Portland, Oregon. Erica Grimm, ChimpanZoo assistant director, will be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Dr. Goodall and the entire staff of the Jane Goodall Institute owe a remarkable debt of gratitude to Dr. Virginia Landau and Erica Grimm. Virginia has been part of the Institute since 1987 and supported the organization throughout its growth, in good times and bad. She has made enormous contributions to our understanding of the behavior, psychology and needs of captive chimpanzees. She has also been a mentor to children and a willing and able spokesperson conversing with everyone from CNN reporters to schoolchildren across America. Erica is a familiar face at ChimpanZoo conferences and is also the voice from Tucson, Arizona, that reaches out to help ChimpanZoo volunteers, students and researchers worldwide.

Together, Virginia and Erica have improved the lives of countless captive chimpanzees through their dedication, ongoing behavioral research, enrichment and educational activities. We thank them for their longtime commitment to the ChimpanZoo program, the Jane Goodall Institute, and to the welfare of chimpanzees all over the world.

For additional information about ChimpanZoo and its ongoing plans, please contact Virginia Landau at 520-621-4785.

 

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