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Chimpanzee poaching sadly continues to make inroads into wild populations: adult chimpanzees are still victims of the bushmeat trade, and their infants are still being bought mainly by expatriates and others who want to use them as pets.
Until now, J.A.C.K. has steered its incoming donations toward improving sanctuary facilities and maintaining physical and psychological well-being of its boarders. But with the rapid decline in the wild populations of these primates, the sanctuary has to expend more of its efforts to promoting conservation education among the locals.
Thanks to the substantial donation from the International Primate Protection league with the help of the ARCUS Foundation, J.A.C.K. has been able to launch the first steps of its Education Centre: the building of two educational huts developing Conservation messages.
These conservation messages are aimed to youngsters but do especially target individuals who either pose a threat to apes now (such as expatriates who are likely to purchase a primate pet) or who are in a position to help control threats (including deforestation, mining, bushmeat poaching, the pet trade, etc.) faced by wild apes in the DRC (such as wildlife officials, soldiers, and government authorities). Chimpanzees are said to have about 20 years left in the wild. This means that they can’t wait today’s young generations to grow into conservation advocates. Great Apes need today’s adults to take action right now and to give their species better chances of survival.
The first education hut is completely finished and it is dedicated to :
(1) the current and past distribution of chimpanzees and their conservation status ,
(2) the most important threats faced daily by great apes:
- habitat destruction and deforestation
- poaching, bushmeat, pet trade and trophies
-wars and diseases
(3) the common denominator to all the threats : the human being
(4) the measures of protection as well as the laws implemented to protect Great Apes (nationally and internationally).solutions to help protect great apes
There are in total 6 drawn education boards and extra education items are displayed everywhere to provide better understandment of the cause to effect situation.
Education hut 2 isn’t finished yet. It so far displays the story of a young ape that is poached and brought to a PASA Sanctuary. Thanks to the kindness of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance we have been allowed to use its wonderful drawings from the PASA coloring book which have a huge impact on kids.
This education area is more dedicated to youngsters as a puppet theater is going to see the light soon working on conservation themes and stories…
More has to be done as more funds are needed to totally finish this education complex.
Children and adults have already been welcomed; visitors are really shocked about what is going on because most of them ignore this appalling reality.
Again J.A.C.K. wishes to thank Dr Shirley Mc Greal and the team of the International Primate Protection League as well as the people of the Arcus Foundation for their trust and for their wish to be part of this huge project. Thanks to you J.A.C.K. has been able to launch the first steps of its education programme.
Thank you for the chimpanzees!