What happened to “JAC”?
What happened to “JAC”?

What happened to “JAC”?

Remember, on October 20th, you were told on Manioc Valley about a baby chimpanzee called “JAC” that had joined J.A.C.K. Refuge Center.

Jac.jpg

“Jac”

Jac had been set for sale for several days on one of Lubumbashi markets. Hardly fed, put underneath a small three with a long rope tied to his right foot , Jac was just a smelly and dirty “makaka” (=which means ‘monkey’ in Swahili). People were passing him by, ignoring that Jac simply needed basic things such as water, some food and…love.

Jac for sale on the market.jpg

Jac for sale on the market

When Jac arrived at our Refuge Center, he was too weak to stay in the quarantine area. He really required special attention and because our complex isn’t yet totally built, Jac had a place home with us.

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Jac being groomed at home by Franck

Unfortunately, things didn’t turn the way we wanted. JAC suddenly decided not to live anymore and refused to take in any food. For days he could lie down without moving. He didn’t eat nor drink any more and I really thought we were losing him. It was the first time we had an orphan with such deep psychological trauma. Chimpanzees are very close to humans and once they feel abandoned, they can let themselves die. But our little one was dying. As a last resort, the vet made him three injections (antibiotics, vitamins and vermifuge) not really knowing if Jac would recover.

Jac dying.jpg

Jac dying

Then, one day, I still don’t understand what happened: Jac came into my arms. He stared at me as if he was looking for protection and since then we have become very good friends. He started eating again, playing and laughing.

Jac seeking for protection.jpg

Jac seeking for love

Jac is now doing a lot better: he has put on weight and joined the quarantine area of J.A.C.K. early November. I could feel he was ready and strong enough to live this new experience. His place was at the centre as the shouts, noises and odors of the other chimpanzees were crucial to Jac’s recovery.

Jac on his way to quarantine area.jpg

Jac ready for the quarantine

Today, Jac looks happy. He plays, swings in his quarantine cage. He is no longer aggressive and, although I’m sure he hasn’t really forgotten all these dark days he went through, he now knows that we are there to give him the life he deserves.

Roxane feeding Jac.jpg

Roxane feeding Jac

To see Jac progressing every day is a real victory to us.

Jac swinging.jpg

Jac swinging


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12 Comments

  1. Wanda, Atlanta

    I will be donating to your site once Holidays are over-how wonderful that you groom them and don’t give up on them as they give up on humans! Please continue to blog regularly.

  2. Christine C.

    Oh my…tragic and heartbreaking…I am sitting in my office all weepy…my colleagues think I am a nut job! Thank you for sharing this story…I am so happy to hear that this dear, sweet baby is getting better and perhaps, someday his memories of trauma will be overtaken with his memories of love. Thank you for all that you do and please keep us posted about Jac. Christine

  3. Dear all,
    Thanks again for your comments. Jac’s story isn’t a happy one, and , unfortunately, most of the babies we rescue have been through tough times. When a newcomer is seized by local authorities and brought to us, it usually stays about 90 days in quarantine. Jac arrived on September 26th. So, it means that he’ll be able to join the group at Christmas. Introduction to the group isn’t easy and depends on the past and the personnality of each chimp. Jac had been beaten up by his owner, he had a severe trauma and we really hope he’ll get on well rapidly with the others. We’ll keep you posted as Jac’s introduction will be an important event!
    ps Cathy, we’ve started working with local schools and an educational program will be set up soon in order to make youngsters aware of wildlife conservation.

  4. Samantha (WildlifeDirect)

    Hello Franck and Roxane. Please also take a look at wildlifedirect.org/tacugama
    It is a chimp sanctuary in Sierra Leone and they have just started to blog with WildlifeDirect.org. You may be able to help each other.

  5. cathy-california

    Thank you so much for that heartbreaking update. It sounds so much like the story of Kata, one of the bonobos who temporarily lost the will to live. What kind of educational programs are you supporting that might help to eventually diminish the suffering of these precious animals? Sending much love to JAC–and a donation. Thank you so much for the update– I could not get him out of my mind. Might we get an update when he is out of quarantine? Will that be soon? Thanks again.

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