Trafficking in great apes and other animals is a global criminal enterprise that is pushing our most endangered species to the brink of extinction. The illegal trade in wildlife causes immense suffering to animals that are taken from the wild and killed or held captive in terrible conditions. Through our global network of Chapters, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has launched the ForeverWild campaign to call attention to the crisis that now threatens great apes and other species. JGI works to end wildlife trafficking and you can help. Learn about the issues, share widely and support our initiatives to stop wildlife crime. Working together we can secure a future where wildlife can live safely in the wild.
Endangered species are protected by national and international laws. But too often this protection is on paper only. Thousands of animals are illegally taken from the wild every year to be sold live or for their parts on the black market. Around the world, wildlife trafficking threatens the very survival of iconic species. Along with the disappearance of wildlife from the landscape, there is ongoing and severe loss in biodiversity. As an organized criminal activity, wildlife trafficking undermines the rule of law and damages communities. Trafficking causes immense suffering through poaching, inappropriate handling and terrible conditions in transportation and captivity.
Unless we end trafficking, primates and other wildlife will be gone for good. All great apes are now endangered, with most species categorized as “critically endangered.” At least 3,000 great apes, including orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees, are lost from the wild every year as a result of illegal trade. The international demand for live animals and animal parts fuels the illegal trade. Everyone from governments to businesses to consumers and the general public has a role to play in preventing the extinction of our most at-risk species.
You can help stop wildlife trafficking
Wild chimpanzees and the other great apes – gorillas, orangutans and bonobos – belong in their natural habitat. But the survival of wild chimpanzees and great apes is threatened by human activities. Demand from the ‘bushmeat’ and live animal trade leads to great apes being illegally stolen from the wild to become exotic pets, attractions in disreputable zoos, or posing or performing for tourist entertainment. Sadly, demand for exotic pets and inappropriate interactions with live wildlife is being boosted by harmful content in the media and online.
We are asking everyone to help create a better future for chimpanzees and other great apes and primates by taking care with what you view, create and share on social media and elsewhere. Use the power at your fingertips to promote a culture of respect, safety and dignity for wildlife. You could help save the lives of many endangered apes.
Stand with Jane to end wildlife trafficking
“Used wisely social media can be a force for good. In many ways it can connect us with the natural world and bring greater understanding of chimpanzees and the other amazing animals who inhabit this planet. And it can also inform us about the urgent need to protect them and their habitats. All animals should be treated with respect and there should be nothing in social media to encourage people to buy wild animals as pets or to think that animals used in entertainment are “happy”. Please help us share the message that many animals, including chimpanzees and other apes, are endangered in the wild and we should share nothing online that might give a boost to the illegal wildlife trade.”
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
What We Do
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) works actively to end the illegal wildlife trade. At our sanctuaries in Africa, JGI rescues, protects and cares for orphaned chimpanzees and other animals which are victims of trafficking. We run community-led conservation initiatives to support sustainable livelihoods for local communities, providing alternative means of income to poaching and trade. Around the world, JGI Chapters are running local campaigns to prevent wildlife trafficking in their region. JGI Chapters use advocacy, public engagement and partnerships to encourage national anti-trafficking policies.
Rescuing trafficked animals
JGI runs the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of Congo, the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa. Since Tchimpounga opened in 1992, the staff have cared for more than 190 rescued chimpanzees. The facility currently houses nearly 140 chimpanzees that live either on the mainland sanctuary or in groups on the island sanctuary sites.
Our triangle approach
Sanctuary care is just one part of our local efforts to protect endangered species from trafficking. We use a “triangle approach,” cooperating between three distinct entities: law enforcement, environmental education programs, and sanctuaries. Educating young people and community members on the dangers and consequences of wildlife trafficking is an important way of involving them in our work; and supporting law enforcement agencies to reduce criminal activity and reinforce reporting.
The Jane Goodall Institute does not endorse handling, interacting or close proximity to chimpanzees or other wildlife. The rescued chimpanzees seen in these photographs are cared for by trained professionals at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center.