Category Archives: Background

JACK chimp sanctuary in the DRC

PICTURE OF THE DAY – J.A.C.K. sanctuary is located South DRC, not far from the Zambian border

Stressful week

We feel sorry we haven’t updated regularly. Not that we didn’t want to. No,no,  no… The recent days here have been so hectic and stressful we were not able to  sit and send updates…  Many unexpected problems occured at the same time and had to be tackled urgently!


One-week-attack of red ants!

Red ants are everywhere at JACK and they cross the sanctuary when the first rains start or at the end of the rainy season. We normally don’t have problems: once they show up, we just let them go through and wait until they have gone.Sometimes the chimps are kept indoors if the playgrounds are invaded…

This year, red ants have been extremely aggressive and intrusive. The chimps don’t like them since these ants bite, inject an anaestethic venom and eat any creature on their path. Our borders suffered a lot last week:  the ants attacked at night, entered the night rooms and we had to move the chimps to safer rooms…

There is no use in burning them nor using insecticide:  once the ants are separated from their group, it takes hours before they build columns and leave…To make them change their route, we use floor and salt which we put at strategic places : the floor keeps them stuck and the salt stings their legs.

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Floor and salt have always had a positive impact: the ants aren’t killed, but they simply change their routes …

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We haven’t seen the ants since last Tuesday. We hope they have found a place to settle during winter (dry season).


Internal haematoma

A young male chimpanzee named Doguy had his right ear doubling in size in just a few days and we believe he probably had a painful shock.

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Treatment didn’t work at all (hopefully there was no fever!) and the vet decided to sedate and to make a small cut to get rid of the liquid: the ear was full of blood and blood clots.

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The operation lasted about 3 long hours: aesthetic surgery was also needed to give the ear its original shape. Doguy is doing a lot better. The ear isn’t swollen any more but some infection appeared yesterday as Doguy touches the wound and his hands aren’t always very clean… We are keeping a close eye on Doguy day and night..


Malaria ?

Bihati is a young female chimpnazee of about 10 years old. She’s is always extremely playful and loves any kind of enrichment item we organise. However, for the last 5 days, Bihati hasn’t been interested in enrichment any more, she only likes to stay all day long in her nest, has lost some weight and looks terribly down. Since she has become weak and fragile, the vet doesn’t want to make her go s=through the stress of darting and sedation… Fever has now gone, her stools are ok and we are trying to get some urine samples to have more analysis… Bad-tempered these days, Bihati doesn’t want to be touched nor hugged: it seems all her body is sore !! We now think Bihati might have malaria (remember, chimpanzees are close to humans and have the same diseases!) and the vet is now studying on what has to be done to make Bihati feel better!

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The recent terrorist attacks have affected JACK: its founders are French and Belgian and Roxane & Franck’s families live in Brussels. Family is okay and so are most of the Friends of JACK staying in the Begian capital.However, one friend hasn’t yet replied to the different email/texts…Let’s hope she is safe!




Economic recession 

Our country too goes through a deep economic recession and the area we live is mainly living on mining industry which is currently dismissing many people. Copper prices have decreased drastically worldwide. This means several companies here South DRC had to close down.

In addition to this, prices are rising, there is no money, no more investments: 2016 is also the year of the presidential elections here and people refuse to invest, to spend money.

This situation is extremely critical for JACK: our NGO lives on donations only and relies on the generosity of its sponsors & partners.

A few days ago, our oldest DRC sponsor (also our main sponsor) has decided to cut his annual sponsorship by more than 60% – which leaves us breathless and extremely anxious about the future of the orphans. We try to remain positive, to think positive but reality catches up with us every day!

As you can see we have just been through restless days and nights. We will try to give you different updates on what is going on here…

Happy Valentine’s Day

St Valentin

Best Wishes from J.A.C.K. !


Cette carte est disponible en Français sur notre site francophone www.jackchimp.yolasite.com
Roxane & Franck/J.A.C.K.

A Happy New Year present for You!

Hi Friends of J.A.C.K.

Now that 2009 is completely over, I wish to send YOU all our Best J.A.C.K. Wishes for this Year 2010 !

Today, I’ll share the first picture taken at our J.A.C.K. complex : the introduction of little Rosie in the baby group!

Yes! She made it!  And Santa was always behind to protect her…..


Pasa (left), Rosie (middle) and Dian (right)

The J.A.C.K. baby chimp group is now made of 7 little ones aged between 1 and 1/2 and almost 3 years old.


Another surprise, the first 2010 footage : Pundu playing with his best friend Gismo, the cat… Enjoy!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/QpRDikrhJ7Y" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


Franck and I thank you all for your encouragements and support given in 2009 and hope you still will be with us in 2010.

We also want to thank each member of our precious team. They worked hard in 2009 and some  even have assisted us instead of taking their days off. Papa Augustin, Mama Maguy and all the others,  thank you for your Devotion and for the Love you have for these wonderful babies…



100 orphan kids for Christmas at J.A.C.K.

Hi Everyone!

As to definitely say goodbey to the year 2009 and to end  on a very good note, Franck & I wished to share this particular event with you!

You all know that J.A.C.K. takes care of chimpanzee and galago orphans. This time, J.A.C.K. wanted to do something different. This time, J.A.C.K. decided to organise an unusual event for  young Congolese orphans.


That’s why, on December 24th, about 100 orphan children from Lubumbashi were invited at the J.A.C.K. complex for Christmas.


Madam Thérèse Lukenge Kapibwe, Provincial Minister of Education, Youth, Scientific Research, Woman’s condition and Family,  had also been invited to participate at the event ….


and so were the medias.


The children sang and seemed happy to be at J.A.C.K.  



Most of the faces changed a few minutes later when Father Christmas arrived with his hands full of presents!


Curiosity but also…. fear,  happiness and joy was seen on every faces…



Each child received a Christmas present which was a red bag full of toys, cookies and school items.



Later on, a Christmas lunch was offered to all of them!



But we insist on the fact that our small NGO couldn’t organise this all alone. We had good friends and local donors assisting us . But there was ONE main local sponsor whose generosity has been without limits: the Trust Merchant Bank.


Thanks to the TMB Bank, J.A.C.K. has been able to offer a few moments of joy to orphan kids as for most of them, it was the first time they had met Father Christmas …


Thanks to the TMB Bank, J.A.C.K. organised a big lunch for all these excited kids who are not used to have Christmas parties…


Thanks to the TMB Bank, J.A.C.K. has been given the opportunity to make more people aware about what is going on with Great Apes in the DRC as these  children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow!


Great thanks to the TRUST MECRHANT BANK for this wonderful support! It was appreciated by everyone especially by the kids!


Also, we keep on reminding you that J.A.C.K. is a small NGO and that we need your help to continue taking care of the 29 orphan chimpanzees of the Refuge. J.A.C.K. must develop its education program. 3 new chimpanzees are due to arrive soon from Kivu. J.A.C.K. hasn’t collected the funds necessary to build the extra quarantine enclosure. Please, if you can, donate now… 

Thank YOU for THEM!

Roxane & Franck

Season’s Greetings

Dear Friends,

We are wishing you a Happy Festive Season and a Prosperous New Year…


Thank You for following us,

Thank You for helping us,

Thank You for THEM!


“Congo, un pays magnifique”

Hello Friends of JACK,

I hope you enjoyed your weekend and that most of the ladies had a memorable Mothers’ Day!

Today, I want to talk about two authors and friends, Alain HUART and Chantal TOMBU, who have had their brand new book recently published. This piece of art is written in French but you actually don’t need to speak this language to appreciate the beauty and the colours of the pictures. The book is called “Congo, pays magnifique” (Congo, wonderful country). More pictures can be seen on the following website: http://congo.skynetblogs.be/


Alain mainly works in Kinshasa for the Ministry of Agriculture and is an excellent photographer. He came at JACK on September 12th 2007 and encouraged us a lot to continue the good job. While visiting, he told Franck JACK at that period was ’till at the embryonic stage compared to Lola ya Bonobo’…


Alain and Chantal visiting JACK


Born in the Congo, Chantal is an Art Historian. She used to work at the National Museum of Lubumbashi.  Thanks to her, JACK has had many opportunities to organise lectures at the Museum thus making people and authorities aware about Great Apes and their threats in the DRC.


lecture at the National Museum of Lubumbashi

Together, Alain and Chantal have decided to set up a book showing the beauties of our country, the DR Congo. There are plenty of magnificent pictures and the texts are full of interests. This master piece gives a colourful and positive idea of the DRC, which is very often criticised and forgotten…


Franck and Chantal

Page 138 is dedicated to JACK and if you have a better look at the pictures, you’ll recognise Maman Angeline carrying both Zamba and little Doguy! The chimp on top, of course, you’ll recognise him too: it’s Chita, our “boss” (dominant male)!!!


Chita (top) and Maman Angeline with Zamba & Doguy. On the left, one of the different signs people can read during their visit of the Refuge ” Buying a chimpanzee means you are part of the trade since you have participated to the slaughter of the whole group”
Thank you again, Alain, Chantal and all the other participants of this wonderful book: writing about JACK will help the project and its chimps to be known all around the world!  
Encore un tout grand merci pour EUX! Et encore félicitations pour le très beau travail!


3 years ago, JAK, the 1st chimpanzee ever seized by local authorities in the Katanga Province (DRC)

Dear Friends of JACK,

The month of April is very particular to Franck and myself : it was on the 6th of April 2006 that we first  met JAK, a dying baby chimpanzee for sale on the streets of Lubumbashi…


JAK is the first chimpanzee ever confiscated in the Southern DRC province of Katanga.


When meeting him we didn’t know he was going to be assassinated by saboteurs willing to stop us.


Nor did we expect the J.A.C.K. project would take huge steps forward shortly after the sabotage


But one thing is sure, JAK has become a symbol for the Conservation and the Protection of his own kind  as thanks to him, the lives of other chimpanzees have been and are being saved.


Thank you, JAK!

We miss you so much !


Best Wishes

Friends of JACK,

We do THANK  ALL  OF  YOU  for having been on our sides for the last 12 months and for having encouraged and supported us. One year ago, JACK was a small Refuge Centre that no-one had ever heard about and we are grateful to WILDLIFE DIRECT  for having given us the chance to blog and to share our experience in the DRC.


Today, our action has been spread worldwide and the JACK Refuge for seized chimpanzees has taken huge steps forward…

Thank you again for being with us,

JACK, Franck, Roxane & the Chimps