Written By: Kari-Lyn Danyluk, JGI Canada volunteer
Category: From The Field
Hugues Boungou has a wide, gentle smile that divulges his caregiving philosophy before he even begins to interact with his patients. Hugues, a veterinary assistant at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre in the Republic of Congo, believes in the importance of treating each primate with care and respect, to create the trust and cooperation that he needs to be effective in his work.
In addition to providing veterinary care to chimpanzees at the centre, Hugues follows a group of mandrills several days each month who were re-introduced to the Conkouati Douli National Park by JGI.
Mbote and her baby enjoy Conkouati National Park
Many primates owe their lives to this talented veterinary assistant. Hugues possesses keen intelligence, curiosity, and intuition that make him an excellent diagnostician. He says his favourite part of his job is helping to save the lives of chimpanzees.
Alex in his enclosure
Hugues began his career as a nurse, looking after human patients. His natural skill with primates allowed him to adapt quickly to veterinary work and to develop new skills, like operating x-ray equipment and microscopes. JGI, and the many chimpanzees who enjoy Hugues’ excellent care are grateful that he made the decision to work as a veterinary assistant.