J.A.C.K., a Refuge Centre for seized chimpanzee babies
J.A.C.K., a Refuge Centre for seized chimpanzee babies

J.A.C.K., a Refuge Centre for seized chimpanzee babies

Good morning everyone!

This post is very particular as it gives you more information on how we started. But, before giving you all these details, J.A.C.K. wishes to thank Theresa for her wonderful donation that will help us electrifying the day enclosure for the quarantine chimps. Quarantine babies will in that way enjoy an open air area full of trees instead of remaining in their quarantine cages. Thanks again, Theresa!

Also, before reading, keep this in mind: J.A.C.K. is the name of our NGO, JAC is the baby that arrived last September (the little one you know already)and JAK is the first baby we started with.

Well, our story started on April 6th 2006 when the FIRST seizure of a chimpanzee baby ever took place in Katanga. The sick little one had been seen for sale in Lubumbashi on the back of a bicycle and if Franck and my brother hadn’t called the director of Katanga National Parks (I.C.C.N.), the baby would have been sold.



2. JAK at the ZOO.jpg

JAK at the Zoo

That’s the way JAK came into our lives. The authorities who had seized him brought him at the Lubumbashi Zoo. The baby was very dehydrated and suffered from terrible diarrheas. Having poor chances to survive, the authorities accepted to hand over JAK to Franck.

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JAK handed over to Franck

JAK was a young ape of about 1 and ½ year. When he arrived, he was very weak and couldn’t even walk!! He stayed with us for about 2 months.

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JAK sick

Meanwhile, other seizures took place in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa (capital of DRC) and, thanks to an agreement Franck had made with the director of Lubumbashi Zoo, we managed to get an old enclosure at the zoo where to put the babies. The abandoned enclosure was made of two small islands restored by Franck: the chimpanzees could run, play and enjoy the sun in their new open air enclosure that was surrounded by a moat. This was the beginning of our NGO.

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The small island

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4 happy chimpanzee orphans

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On the island

By September 2006, we were taking care of five little chimpanzee babies during day. There were four males (JAK, BACHI, CHITA and TOUZO) and one female, SHASA. JAK was doing great and had a very good friend: TOUZO. Inseparable, they shared the same games, the same nests.

8. JAK & TOUZO.jpg


But our story went through terrible moments. On the 5th of September, very early in the morning, saboteurs set a fire in the night enclosure of the five sleeping babies. Three survived (CHITA, BACHI and SHASA), one died (JAK) and one was severely burnt (TOUZO).

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JAK burnt to death

10. TOUZO severely burnt.jpg

TOUZO severely burnt

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Franck and I were prostrated with grief. JAK had been the first baby chimpanzee we had started with and now he was gone forever….

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Baby JAK

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Baby JAK had been taken away from us and we couldn’t let these cruel and barbaric people win. This sabotage was obviously meant to stop us, but we couldn’t stop all we had started. CHITA, BACHI, SHASA and TOUZO needed us more than ever and Franck and I decided to continue our work.

14. CHITA( Franck's back), BACHI (left) and SHASA (right). Life must go on....jpg

CHITA (on Franck’s back), BACHI (left) and SHASA (right)

The manager of the Lubumbashi Zoo had insisted on burying JAK at the zoo, not far from the place the tragedy had occurred. Authorities and friends joined us on that very, very sad day.

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JAK’s grave

Thanks to Mr. Doug CRESS of PASA (Pan African Sanctuary Alliance) and to Mrs. Sylvia SIDDLE of CHIMFUNSHI WILDLIFE ORPHANAGE (Zambia), a Zambian vet qualified in third-degree burns was sent to Lubumbashi in order to help us. TOUZO was badly burnt as he had jumped through the flames. Special medical assistance was needed to give him another chance.





TOUZO strove against pain for one week. The Zambian vet, Ian, did all he could to improve TOUZO’s condition and to heal his wounds.

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Vet Ian and TOUZO

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Vet Ian did a wonderful job! Thank you, Ian!!

But the burnings caused severe damage to his little body: TOUZO was losing fingers and toes, his left eye was lost, his right ear was falling off and about 90 % of his body was peeling … Little TOUZO wouldn’t have been able to walk anymore as the muscles of his legs were completely destroyed.

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TOUZO was dying and still loved to be hugged

Little TOUZO died just one week after the fire. He now rests in peace next to JAK as they had been inseparable and very best friends.

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JAK & TOUZO together to all eternity

As I told you in my former post, « life here can be very tough ». Some of the pictures I have sent aren’t nice at all, sorry for that, but they are part of our history and people must exactly know what happened. This event was a real nightmare, and Franck and I were deeply affected because two very precious and cherished creatures had been taken away from us.

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Farewell precious little ones…

In order to keep that first seizure still alive in our minds, Franck and I decided to use JAK’s name for our NGO. To put emphasize on the seizures, a « C » was added to obtain « Jeunes Animaux Confisqués au Katanga » (= Young Confiscated Animals in Katanga).

The tragedy was a tough experience, but it made us stronger as people around the world – and in DRC! – started to have some interest in our work and now we can feel we are no longer alone.

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32 commentaires

  1. Diana Duperre

    One of the sweetest, most sickening, disturbing, inspiring stories I have ever read. You must have been beyond shattered and you honor these sweet, brave little innocent souls. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I vow I will never forget this. And you go on. The greatest lesson of all. Bless you.

  2. Brenton

    Thank you for your story which must always be so upsetting to tell and recollect. It is important to do so, we need to know the truth about what is happening to our fellow species worldwide. We are here to help and each of us will do what we can to continue your wonderful and caring work.

  3. Will

    I just can not understand how someone could set the fire like that. You are not dealing with humans at all. I am glad I am here and they are over there, because my first instinct would be to hunt down the monsters that did this. I found out in the Vietnam war, when people get mean, you got to get meaner so they are more afraid of you than anything. At least that’s my opinion.
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know it’s been a while, but I also know the scar is still there. Your little guys will be at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for you, and I’ll bet they will still have hugs for you. The story of the Bridge is that all sick and hurt animals will be made whole again, so be prepaired to have some baby chimps come running at you when you get there. I pray that the men who did this will suffer the same fate. Karma’s a bitch.

  4. Ping :JACK member of PASA – J.A.C.K.

  5. Esther Garcia

    Dear Heavenly Father

    My heart sinks for mankind and it breaks for the babies…I pray… please Lord help me to not hate the humans (sick dastards)that commit these evil crimes againist defenseless baby creatures, please dear Lord reach into thier hearts and make them see and understand how they have caused so much sorrow and pain so that they will stop! Please Help the Angels you have sent to persevere in saving them…I pray…

  6. Sarah

    I have only just read this blog and I cannot believe the cruelness of some people. This is so so horrific and we can only be incredibly grateful to you for continuing your amazing work after having been through such terrible experiences. Thank you.

  7. katherine

    God Bless you for the very important work you do. I have no words for those who would ignore, abuse and mistreat any animal. They are the low lives of humanity. I also believe if they would be cruel to animals they will/are more than likely doing the same to some poor human. To think that anyone would be sick enough set fire to innocent, helpless animals. One day people will begin to see that animals are not much different than us and will have a greater respect.

    Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher who 200 years ago said about animals: The question is not, can they reason? nor, Can they talk, but, Can they suffer?

    The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different » Hippocrates (460?-370? BC)
    May we realize that they (animals) live not for us alone, but for themselves and for God and that they love the sweetness of Life, too. St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (330-379)
    « It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of man. On the contrary, all other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else…there is no difference between the PAIN of humans and the PAIN of other living beings, since love and tenderness of the of the mother for her young is NOT produced by reasoning, but by FEELING, and this faculty exists not only in humans but in all living beings. (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204)
    The deeds you do today may be the only sermon some people will hear today. »
    –St. Francis of Assisi

  8. Zara

    I’m from Kuwait, living in the USA. I came across your website while browsing for pictures on google, and reading your story, I could not believe that there are humans who could be this cruel to helpless animals!! The story of Jak and Touzo made me cry, may their souls rest forever in peace! I do not understand why would anyone hurt an animal, even worse a « BABY ANIMAL »!! What happened is so cruel and tragic, but I pray that one day those evil humans will get punished for what they have done, either in this life or after, but they must get punished! I admire you for everything you have done for those babies! I wish you continue the good work, and accomplish everything you wish you could, and I hope that that the babies find peace and happiness on their little island… I really don’t know what else to say except, GOD BLESS YOU ALL… GOD BLESS YOU!

  9. Geoff

    I have just visited the Lubumbashi Zoo today and can only wonder as to what it must have looked like when it was first built. Its on a wondeful site and some animals have more room than provided by most zoos in Australia. I was curious to learn more about J.A.C.K. when I saw the chimpanzee enclosure but until I read this website had no idea of the extent of the problems and the good work you are doing.
    For the Zoo itself there is a lot of work to bring it back to its former glory but in the meantime as long as the animals welfare is paramount then that is a step in the right direction.

  10. Ping :Little Jak | J.A.C.K.

  11. Ping :3 years ago, JAK, the 1st chimpanzee ever seized by local authorities in the Katanga Province (DRC) | J.A.C.K.

  12. Kim

    I am from Wisconsin and just browsing the internet looking for the word Thank You when I came across a photo (must have been Tuozo) and clicked on the website and read your article…HOW DISTURBING!! To think that people in that country are truly evil and could do such a thing, we cannot call those people human! Kudos to the people who nursed the babies back to health. You are remarkable! I am now putting this website in my addresses so I can periodically read any other interesting stories you may share. God Bless what you do!

  13. Theresa

    The tears are blurring my vision. The people who did this deserve to die. That is the only way to deal with evil souls. It sickens me to be part of a race that would do such a heinous thing to innocent animals. I firmly believe there is a special place in hell for people like this. This will come back them. Karma is real!
    I am forever grateful there are people like you that can carry on despite your broken hearts. These sweet babies are in heaven now with the mothers they lost. No one can ever hurt then again.

  14. Dave

    I’d fear being in whoever did this evil act’s shoes when their Karma catches up with them. I mostly consider Great Apes people, the only difference I can see is they are more decent to one another than we humans. Just viewing the photos was like a kick in the stomach, you guys who were the caregivers to the little chimps are amazing. I can’t imagine how this man made tragedy must have affected you. You are real life heroes. May the Universe bless and protect you and our furry counterparts.



    Je suis horrifiée de voir comment l’homme peu être cruel. Des animaux sans défense, combien meurt par ces hommes à qui nous devrions faire la même chose, pour qu’ils constatent les traitements fait aux animaux, et encore je ne sais même pas si ils se rendraient compte du mal qu’ils font. Je me joins à vous dans la douleur et la perte de tous ses animaux. Je fais partis de l’association de 30 MILLIONS D’AMIS EN DONNANT DES DONS selon mes moyens, je suis en invalidité mais j’aimerais avoir l’adresse exact du centre ou se trouve ses chimpanzés au congo pour pouvoir donné une aide financière. MERCI PAR AVANCE, je ne parle pas du tout l’anglais. J’ai 42 ANS et vous souhaite encore bon courage, j’ai aujourd »hui encore deux enfants à m’occuper mais ce serai avec plaisir, si j’avais pu venir vous aider à vous occuper de ces petits orphelins. AMICALEMENT MME FERNOUX NATHALIE

  16. Wanda Perry

    Today for the first time I read about the fire, and the two babies that died Jac and Touzo. It turns my heart inside out that humans would want to hurt innocent baby chimpanzees. This was a great tragedy, and it too great courage to share it. And even more courage to stay there and help them.
    The chimpanzee and all their problems haunt me, if it weren »t for loving and compassionate people as yourself, and all the people that help, I dread to think what would become of them.
    When school starts again, I am hoping I can get our schools involved and educated about their plight.
    Not every one has the internet and cable t.v.
    There are no words to express my gratitude for you and all the people that are saving these chimps. Their lives are just as important as humans
    Wanda Perry
    Afton, Wy. 83110

  17. Ping :J.A.C.K » Blog Archive » A new species of Chimpanzee ?

  18. Ping :J.A.C.K » Blog Archive » Bullet in the arm of a chimp !!

  19. Wanda, Atlanta

    It makes us wonder how you go on – how your hearts are not so broken you can’t continue-it amazes me that you find hope and just thank God that the two of you do and find a way to continue!

  20. I took a day before commenting because yesterday was all about bad, horrible, sorrowful news on Wildlife Direct. I don’t know how humans can do commit such heinous crimes against fellow apes, and I do hope they rot in hell. Thank you, all at J.A.C.K. for having the strength to persevere after such a horrible tragedy. I don’t know how you do it, I’d spend every day crying and be totally useless, but I’m _very_ glad you’re there and working so hard for all the babies.


  21. Lisa, California

    This story, as well as the pictures are completely heartbreaking. I’m speechless and sick that somone can do this, but of course, they do this to woman and children as well. It’s gross and sick and pure evil…..but up from the ashes of that ugly fire you have risen and I am so glad that you have. The chimps deserve nothing less, in memory of JAK & TOUZO. Thank you for continueing this wonderful work, inspite of all the horrible obstacles. Lisa

  22. Lucia Cristiana, Brazil

    The brutal and senseless death that babies JAK and TOUZO is fruit of the arrogance and ignorance of the humans. I feel a deep shame than the humans have been doing with all precious chimps.
    God… It is essential to stop with that barbarian. Please Roxane, tell me if you have been noticing some difference in the humans’ attitude with the chimps since you arrived there? Did it get better or did it worsen?

  23. cathy-california

    Dr. Antnio, I too am a physician and could not agree with you more. These photos are beyond devastating and only speak to man’s ingorance and self impporance. Poor little JAK and TOUZO.

  24. Pam/Shell Beach, CA

    I’m speechless. It continues to amaze me that people can be so cut off from their source of life, the Earth and all the wonderful, special creatures that we share life with on this unique planet. I can’t imagine how people can see these sweet creatures as a threat when we are actually all connected. That you for sharing your story and the important work you do.

  25. dr antonio canella italy

    I am a doctor .
    But i think never is more horrible like the human cruelty :with animals , children, in the war…I am embarassed to be a member of the human race

  26. Christine C.

    Jesus, what a horrible story…I will never, ever be able to understand how humans can be so cruel. Thank you so much for all you do, and for perservering to save these precious creatures, no matter how much heartache you seem to have to endure. I can only hope that someday, these will be stories of the past…that people will wake up and realize how pointless all this cruelty and disregard for life really is. In the meantime we are all rooting for you and the babies in your care.

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