Never give up – the story of Wounda

When this special chimpanzee arrived at the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre (TCRC) she was named Wounda meaning ‘close to death’ and never was a chimpanzee more aptly named.

Only through the amazing skills of resident vet, Rebeca Atencia and Wounda’s determination to get better did she pull through. Wounda grew from strength to strength and so remarkable was her recovery that she was chosen as one of the chimps to be moved to Tchibebe Island, one of three islands within the Tchimpounga Reserve. Jane Goodall was visiting the TCRC on the day Wounda was released. Jane, Rebeca and three of the carers at Tchimpounga sanctuary escorted Wounda to her new home. Jane had not met Wounda before placing her in the crate earlier in the day, which makes what happened when Wounda was released even more remarkable. Wounda went over to her friend Rebeca and then jumped on the crate and gave Jane a huge hug, Wounda seemed to be thanking Jane for all she has done to help chimpanzees. Jane would recognise that this was one of the most amazing moments of her life. Click on the link below to watch the video which very quickly went viral.

Wounda quickly became friends with Kefan, the alpha male on the island. After a few months on Tchibebe, Wounda became pregnant due to a failed contraceptive device. Although the team at Tchimpounga is not sure, Kefan is likely to be the father of the baby, named Hope.

Wounda’s story really does have a happy ending!


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