The Problem
The Solution
The Future
The Problem
The Solution
The Future

Dear friends of J.A.C.K.,

I haven’t been able to update for the last days (weeks?) as we started our annual Health Checks and I have had to remain focused on each and very single resident! So sorry about this long silence!!

Thank you for your understanding. I hope to come back for updates at the soonest!


Many thanks to all of YOU who sent Seki and Tongo positive vibes this morning! We had a long and stressful day for both the chimpanzees and our team. We are extremely lucky all went well: our residents were very calm and Seki even made me a manicure and a special grooming of my hands and arms while waiting for the vet…

Capture plein écran 10082018 170856

We psent most of the time with Seki since one tooth had to be removed: for several months, the gum had created like a bubble of skin in his mouth thus hiding a sick and broken tooth. Our volunteer vet, Dr Binemo, had no other choice than to extract it as it soon was going to provide further pain and… infection!


Tongo’s case is a bit different: for about a year, this young male has had multiple abcesses in his neck. Last year, his two sick upper central incisives were removed and we thought this was the source of all that trouble.

Unfortunately, 6 months later, more abscesses started and pus samples, after analyse, were said to be ‘sterile’. Today, more samples have been taken and the wound was deeply cleaned. It is more than urgent we find the best treatment for Tongo: these abscesses are painful, makes him scratch them all the time (thus creating more infection!) and Tongo has lost some weight (not sure if there is a link or not?!)…


Seki and Tongo are now back in their night rooms and will be isolated for a few days for observation. I will keep you updated!



Tomorrow, on Friday 10th of August, two of our males, SEKI & TONGO, need to be sedated for a health check.

Since sedations aren’t always positive experiences for our residents, we are asking you to send our two friends all your positive thoughts and prayers for an excellent outcome. Thank YOU for THEM!


VERY BUSY DAYS since some of our residents needed the help of our vet, Dr Jean Claude.

MAYA had a little cyst on her left arm, PASA’s upper right canine was removed (badly infected), AFRICA, MAÏKA, BAPU & ELIA had new implants and, because ELIA has back issues, we did an X-Ray.

We are extremely grateful Dr  Binemo is helping J.A.C.K. orphans. The vet is actually a volunteer at J.A.C.K. and we are lucky to have him!

Also, the vet always comes with 3 assistants; this is a way for J.A.C.K. to spread awareness regarding great apes and the threats they are living daily in the DRC. Also, Noëlle, Elisabeth and ben are being trained to work with chimpanzees!

Before we end we also would like to thank our sponsors who care about the above residents of J.A.C.K. Their monthly sponsorship helps our sanctuary face obstacles like these !


TONGO is the young chimpanzee male who got regurlaly sedated in 2017 because of abscesses in the neck. Thanks to Dr Ainare’s intervention of last September, we thought the ape finally got rid of these skin issues as she removed both rotten central upper incisives from where the infection had probably spread through the ENT system.


Unfortunately, early May, TONGO developped a new abscess again underneath his right ear.

Therefore, our vet, Dr Jean Claude, decided to sedate TONGO to draw some blood, clean the abscess and take an X-ray of the chimpanzee’s head. All results were negative … TONGO’s health is an issue and we are still working on his case with vets Jean Claude & Ainare…

Also, each time our volunteer vet comes at the sanctuary, J.A.C.K. allows him to bring assistants or vet students to get used to work with great apes. Having his asistants with is a way for vet Jean Claude to spread awareness regarding the sad faith of this species in our DRC forests… These days, Jean Claude’s assitants are Elisabeth, Noëlle & Benjamin.

Thank YOU all for your good work!


First Health Checks took place last April and were sponsored thanks to the wonderful support of the PAN AFRICAN SANCTUARY ALLIANCE and of the French zoo ESPACE ZOOLOGIQUE DE ST MARTIN LA PLAINE.

However, some important veterinary interventions weren’t done: one of the vets, Dr IDOIAGA, didn’t get her DRC Visa and therefore vet acts had to be postponed.

To proceed to this second part of J.A.C.K. health examinations, a German wildlife charity had been sollicitated. This is how PRO WILDLIFE accepted to pay for all journey expenses of Dr IDOIAGA as well as for all the needed veterinary drugs and equipment.

The 3 important vet interventions were the eye removal of young Doguy (eye sick for years), the removal of upper central incisors of TONGO (too much infection!) and the check of PADDA’s testicle (he has only one).

All operations went well and the chimps recovered very fast thanks to the great work of Dr IDOIAGA. Only PADDA didn’t go through surgery: we couuldn’t find the second testicle inside the abdomen (scan) and the vet decided not to check further as she is convinced the testicle doesn’t exist.

We are grateful this second step of the Health Checks could take place as the opreated orphans really needed special help! This has been possible thanks to the wonderful kindness of PRO WILDLIFE and we really, really thank Mrs Sandra, her team and donors for this valuable support!

Thank YOU all for THEM!

Last April, 2 great volunteer Friends of J.A.C.K.,  Manon et Lyna, came from Europe to help out during J.A.C.K. 2017 Health Checks. A 3rd person was meant to fly over, Dr Ainare Idoiaga, a Spanish vet but she never rea hed Lubumbashi since she didn’t get her visa to enter our coutry… So, our team made of our DRC vet Dr Jean Claude Binemo, de 2 girls and myself had to work without her and the 2 chimps who urgently needed surgery didn’t get any…

Left to right: Lyna, Vet Jean Claude, Roxane & Manon

After weeks (months????)  of waiting, the Spanish vet  F I N A L  L Y got her DRC visa and the best time for her to fly to J.A.C.K. was in September. On the 2nd more precisely. Yes, she arrived…. yesterday!  And Ainare isn’t the only special guest currently at J.A.C.K : the manager of LWIRO Sanctuary (DRC), Mrs Itsaso, also arrived  yesterday for her 1s visit at J.A.C.K. !!

Left to right: (top) Franck & Christian from LWIRO (below) Sandrine, Ainare, Roxane & Itsaso

Well, now the vet has arrived, it also means serious vet work (and stress for me!) is on the agenda for the coming week : Monday and Tuesday the 2 important surgeries will take place and more important things will have to be done before Ainare’s departure on the 9th . I’ll update then. So far, let’s enjoy the visit of our Spanish Friends…

Talk back soon

Lyna is one of the two European volunteers who flew to J.A.C.K. last month to help out with the Health Checks of all our chimps.

Because her stay was of 3 weeks, Lyna kindly organised daily enrichment for our orphans who were very excited and happy to discover new things. Fresh leaves, ice blocks made in different shapes and of different tastes, socks full of treats… Our orphans have been extremely spoiled!

Lyna is now flying back home but we know she’ll come back at J.A.C.K. again!

Merci, Lyna!!!

We are nearly at the end of this huge health checks project I started organising about a year ago. J.A.C.K. Health Checks indeed were firstly scheduled for October 2016 but the Australian vet who had to come and help didn’t get her DRC visa and J.A.C.K. had no other choice than to postpone this important event!

Also, since our country is going through much turmoil and political unrest, the vet from Australia decided she would no longer come and this is why, last January, Lyna & Manon accepted J.A.C.K. invitation to participate to this very particular event! DRC is a scary country and we are extremely lucky Lyna & Manon have been brave enough to fly to us!!!

On day 7 of J.A.C.K. health checks we sedated 3 females (Zamba, Kina & jane) and 2 males (Tongo & Wimbi).

Again, everything went well and my lovely team was happy of all the hard and good work it had achieved so far!

However, 2 more chimpanzee orphans of J.A.C.K. still need to be checked: Doguy& Padda! These 2 residents need special attention and particular surgery and my vet Jean Claude decided he would wait our Spanish volunteer vet, Dr Ainare Idoiaga, to work together on these two cases.Dr Ainare is the 3rd volunteer we were expecting to arrive last week but she still doesn’t have her DRC Visa!Let’s keep our fingers crossed all that paperwork will be sorted out at the soonest – our country seems to be very selective on visa applications!

Before I end and before sharing the pictures of Day 7 I would like to apologize for the delay in coming back  with these updates. We all (chimps & humans) had a long and exhausting week. And, to me, these 7 days have been extremely stressful! Franck hasn’t been in Lubumbashi for 2 weeks now (he was in the US for the PASA Board meeting) – so I was in charge of everything and of everyone on my own. This great health check event was rich in experience but it was personaly a huge burden psychologically speaking!

Yes, when 1 chimpanzee resident needs to be sedated, it means already a lot of stress to me. But imagine 35 chimpanzees!!! All that pressure left me with a sore body (lumbago) and I am grateful the two volunteers, Manon and Lyna, were around and helped me so much! So, I didn’t update because I needed some time for myself too. I hope you can undertand this…

Okay, I stop talking about myself, here are the pictures of Day 7:

  • Kina waiting in the sedating facility

  • Zamba, our ‘Sleeping Beauty’

  • Dr Jean Claude checking Tongo’s ears

  • Lyna measuring Jane’s tibia and Papa Ngoy longing for a short nap!

  • Maman Angeline ensuring routine at J.A.C.K. – all the other residents need attention and care too!

Health Checks aren’t yet finished but only interupted since Padda & Doguy still have to be checked. Thank you again so much to my wonderful team for its support and hard work!

Without you, J.A.C.K. wouldn’t have made it!

Without you, I woudln’t have made it!


Today we checked the last members of Tikas group. Everything went well and Tika, the alpha, despite his bad boy appearance, behaved gently athough very stressed at darting.

Some pictures of today:

  • Lyna carrying little Rosie at recovery room

  • Papa Jérémie keeping an eye on sedated Elia while we are all checking Tika

  • Papa Jérémie keeping contact with Tika just bfore he gets darted. Tika is anxious and always looks behind him as he knows vet Jean Claude isn’t far

  • J.A.C.K. doesn’t have a vet clinic. For 11 years now we have been working in “bush” conditions. For the Health Checks we cleaned and painted a small container as it was important to keep both our team and sedated residents dry and warm since it’s still raining these days (rainy season) and since winter is around the corner (dry season). This is why you mainly see chimps with blankets!


Thank you Jean Claude, Lyna, Manon, Julie, papa Ngoy and Papa Jérémie for this Day 6 of J.A.C.K. health Checks. And also many thanks to my J.A.C.K. team who helps the sanctuary in its daily routine: Maman Angeline, Yannik, Bondo and Landry!


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