Celebrate your #ChimpanzeeConnection this World Chimpanzee Day

On the fifth anniversary of World Chimpanzee Day, we want you to join us in celebrating the ways chimpanzees are connected to us, other wildlife and the natural world. 

A chimpanzee celebration

Every year on the 14th July, people around the world unite to celebrate the value, complexity and importance of chimpanzees, our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.

Why the 14th July? This is the date a 26-year-old Jane Goodall first stepped foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Gombe, Tanzania, back in 1960. Her work studying the mysterious, wonderful, intriguing and beautiful chimpanzees of Tanzania forever changed our relationship with the animal kingdom and the natural world we are all part of.

2023 is the fifth anniversary of World Chimpanzee Day, and Dr Jane Goodall – founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace – is calling on all of us to rediscover our #ChimpanzeeConnection; to grow compassion, to take action and to reaffirm our bond with and for them.

“We are not different in kind, but rather by mere degree.”

Dr Jane Goodall

A baby chimpanzee rides on the back of an adult. Text reads #ChimpanzeeConnection July 14, with the Roots and Shoots logo.

What Dr Jane Goodall learned at Gombe

When she first stepped foot in Gombe, Jane Goodall was a young woman with no formal higher education, but an unquenchable interest in and appreciation for the natural world. She observed chimpanzees for years, and the insights she learned from watching them transformed the scientific landscape; that chimpanzees make and use tools, are compassionate, have dynamic personalities and are intelligent. Most importantly, that they deserve our respect. This redefined our relationship with the other animals with whom we share this planet.

Research is ongoing at Gombe through the Jane Goodall Institute, with new knowledge being discovered every year. It’s the world’s longest running wild chimpanzee study at 60 years – and still going strong – providing tremendous insights in the fields of ecology, animal behaviour, health and much more.

A keystone species

Chimpanzees are a keystone species; an ‘organism that helps define an entire ecosystem’ and without whom ‘the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether,’ according to National Geographic.

This is partly due to their essential role within their rainforest home as seed dispersers, and their interaction with other parts of the ecosystem they live in – and the wider web of life itself. And it’s also due to their ability to form complex relationships and bones, their extraordinary use of communication, and their individual personalities and stories. They are deeply essential and connected to all life on Earth.

An older chimpanzee sits in the forest. Text reads #ChimpanzeeConnection July 14, with the Roots and Shoots logo.

How you can help

This World Chimpanzee Day, we want everyone to grow their #ChimpanzeeConnection. This could be learning about chimpanzees, increasing your understanding of these incredible beings, and encouraging others to show compassion and take action to improve their wellbeing for chimpanzees today and in the future.

As well as celebrating them, we also recognise that they are sadly endangered, and along with all great apes, they may soon disappear from this world if we don’t take action now.

Chimpanzees are facing threats like deforestation, disease and wildlife crime in teh wild, and inappropriate captive care when in captivity.

The Jane Goodall Institute and partner organisations, individuals, NGOs, goverments and corporations around the world are using a whole load of tools, techniques and above all people-power to make a difference. This includes cutting-edge, science-driven, community-led conservation approaches, best-in-class sanctuary and animal welfare, advocacy, and youth empowerment.

Together, we will grow conneciton and understanding, protect wild populations, and improve welbeing for captive chimpanzees. Together, by growing our #ChimpanzeeConnection, we can help chimpanzees survive and thrive.

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