Mark your calendars for 14th July and join Born Free, the Jane Goodall Institute, and other world leaders in celebrating the first-ever World Chimpanzee Day!
14th July marks the day when, in 1960, Dr Jane Goodall first stepped foot on the shore of what is now Gombe Stream National Park to begin her groundbreaking studies on wild chimpanzees. Her research gave the world a window into the world of these remarkable animals, transforming our understanding of humankind’s closest relatives and redefining the relationship between humans and animals. Our very own Head of Conservation, Liz Greengrass, followed in Jane’s footsteps during the 1990s and 2000s.
World Chimpanzee Day will highlight these remarkable beings and shed light on the many threats they face. Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, chimpanzees are primarily threatened by habitat loss, bushmeat hunting, and the live animal trade. Bushmeat hunting has taken a toll on the chimpanzees at Born Free’s conservation site in Banyang-Mbo, Cameroon and in Guinea-Bissau. In Uganda, where Born Free supports the Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project, chimps are primarily threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.
World Chimpanzee Day will also raise awareness of the plight of the many captive chimpanzees living in terrible conditions as pets, or in zoos, laboratories, or the entertainment industry. Born Free campaigns to Keep Wildlife In The Wild, and recently helped relocate two young chimpanzees – rescued from the illegal pet trade in Guinea-Bissau – to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya.
For a chance in the spotlight, post a video of your best pant-hoot and tag #WorldChimpanzeeDay and #KeepWildlifeInTheWild! For more information and to find an event near you, check out the event’s website and Facebook page.