Did you know Dr. Goodall’s favorite animal is actually dogs? It’s for good reason! In the Republic of the Congo and across the chimpanzee range, illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to wildlife and human communities. By using a “Triangle Approach” JGI is able to work with local law enforcement, increase environmental awareness and sustainable livelihoods, and support best-in-class sanctuary care for wildlife confiscated from the illegal trade. JGI’s sniffer dogs and trainers keep Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center and surrounding areas in the Republica of the Congo safe from dangers like the illegal wildlife trade, as well as preventing future threats. JGI canine trainers teach these dogs to sniff out dangerous/illegal objects—such as weapons or ammunition—and evidence of illegal wildlife crime—such as chimpanzee hair—in cars, bags, crates, and more. 

Trainers form close bonds of trust with their canine co-workers through daily care and play, allowing them to work more effectively as a team. By working alongside trained sniffer dogs, JGI is able to prevent and diminish illegal wildlife trade, protecting human communities and wildlife.  

About JGI’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center

JGI’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center—also referred to as JGI’s Tchimpounga Sanctuary—was created in 1992 in the Republic of Congo as a place for injured and orphaned chimpanzees and other wildlife to have a second chance at a happy life. As the largest chimpanzee sanctuary and rehabilitation center across the continent of Africa, and as a home to 140 chimpanzees rescued from the illegal wildlife trade as well as other threatened species such as mandrills, pangolins, and parrots, it is essential that both chimpanzees and their human caretakers are protected.  

About Author

Kira is the communications coordinator for JGI programs at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she supports the team in advancing public engagement with JGI's holistic programs. Kira graduated from Smith College in 2021, majoring in anthropology and minoring in art history, and during her time there she developed a deep interest in the field of anthrozoology. Her interests within this field are broad, and have led her to study elephant iconography in the U.S. and wildlife management in Tanzania. JGI's values and mission as well as the mindset of anthrozoology guide her work, exploring the interactions between humans and other animals in order to promote a healthier coexistence on this shared planet.