Celebrating Our Closest Cousin

In honor of our closest cousin in the animal kingdom, happy World Chimpanzee Day! Today is a celebration of chimpanzees and an opportunity to raise awareness about the vital need for worldwide participation in their care, protection and conservation in the wild and in captivity.
Six decades ago, on July 14, 1960, primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, to study wild chimpanzees. Dr. Goodall called attention to the remarkable chimpanzee and to this day advocates on their behalf. Today, we join our friends at the Jane Goodall Institute and partners worldwide to carry the torch. 

For past celebrations, we encouraged Ugandan students to get creative in raising awareness about chimpanzee protection and conservation. Students created beautiful artwork and wrote and publicly performed conservation-themed music, dances, and poetry. They also put on conservation skits using handmade paper mache masks.

With schools now closed, we’ve had to use other means to inform and inspire kids about chimpanzees. To reach surrounding communities, The Kasiisi Project staff are taking our messages to the Ugandan radio airwaves. In celebration of World Chimpanzee Day, Ritah and Francis from our conservation team, joined by guests from Kibale Chimpanzee Project, Kibale Snare Removal Project and the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, talked about chimpanzees: their uniqueness, importance and similarities to humans. They also talked about the impact of snares on their health and wellbeing. The program was well received, with a number of enthusiastic and appreciative listeners calling in. 

For our friends across the globe, we also released a new chimpanzee edition of Kibale Explorer where you can learn about our closest cousin in the animal kingdom and steps you can take to help chimps and other wild animals stay #4EverWild. We also have some fun activities to try at home. Visit Kibale For Kids to download this and other editions of Kibale Explorer.