Celebrating World Chimpanzee Day

The 14th of July is World Chimpanzee Day, where people around the world unite to celebrate the innate value, complexity and importance of our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom – chimpanzees.

Why July 14?

On July 14, 1960, Dr. Jane Goodall arrived in what is now Gombe National Park, Tanzania, to start her trailblazing research on wild chimpanzees. To mark this anniversary, we now celebrate #WorldChimpanzeeDay on this day every year.

World Chimpanzee Day was first founded by a group of NGOs, including the Jane Goodall Institute, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. This year, like every year, is a day of celebration of chimpanzees and the people who have done so much work to help save them.

How to celebrate

  • Learn about chimpanzees, our closest wild relative. This NatGeo Kids article is a great introduction for younger people, and the Wikipedia article is a good place to start if you are looking for something more in depth.
  • Find out about how people and organisations like the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) are working to protect chimpanzees in places like the Tchimpounga sanctuary.
  • Show respect from a distance. Most of us won’t be fortunate enough to see chimpanzees in the wild, but we do see them on social media: think twice before you like that social post! Often social media and media depictions of chimpanzees are exploitative and harmful. Want to know more? Check out the JGI guide to great ape imagery.
  • If you can, support the work of those that care for chimpanzees and their habitat.
Eastern chimpanzee in Uganda

Eastern chimpanzee in Uganda. Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash

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