Do you remember when we announced our guardianship of Willy right here on our homepage?
For three years now, we've been the proud guardians of this young chimpanzee, who has been living at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center in the Republic of the Congo since 2014. The facility, which seeks to protect orphaned chimpanzees, was founded in 1992 by the famous primatologist, environmentalist, and UN Messenger of Peace Dr. Jane Goodall. The centre was where Willy, along with his pack of pals, transformed from a frightened little fellow into a strong, confident young adult thanks to the love, patience, and dedication of his minders. This prepared him for the next step into adulthood, which, as all parents eventually find out, is simply the natural order of things. Willy has since moved to the island of Tchindzoulou (on the Kouilou River), and we're very happy to report that he has settled in very quickly and found a number of new friends. In fact, a female chimpanzee by the name of Poungou has taken a particular interest in him: When they first met, she more or less stepped into the role of Willy's mother and embraced him with a combination of compassion and protective instinct. It's been both a blessing for Willy and a relief for us as his guardians to see him getting on so well in his new surroundings. He's also gathering all the experience he'll need before making his impending move to Conkouati-Douli National Park, which will be his final stop before he returns to his original habitat - the wilderness.
We couldn't be prouder of Willy and the way he continues to make progress. All our thanks go to Dr. Goodall and her outstanding team, who have put so much of their hearts into protecting gorillas, orangutans, bonobos, and chimpanzees.