Story of J.A.C.K – Today is Giving Day for Apes! :)
25 september, 2018
Jeunes Animaux Confisqués au Katanga (J.A.C.K.– young animals confiscated in Katanga) is an independent, self funded NGO located in the Lubumbashi Zoo, DRC. Run by Franck CHANTEREAU and his wife Roxane, J.A.C.K. is a Sanctuary for chimpanzees and bush babies.
When the Chantereaus arrived in the DRC in 1994, they became very concerned about young Apes being smuggled or even sold for small change on the streets of Lubumbashi. For over 14 years, Franck recorded alarming observations of Ape infants arriving in Lubumbashi for the local ‘pet’ demand or heading for Zambia and South Africa for international trade.
Franck’s informal report emphasized two main appalling facts:
(1) Per month, about 3 babies were passing through Lubumbashi. If you keep in mind that an estimated 10 animals die for every baby taken, an average of 30 chimpanzees die per month and over 400 are lost from the wild every year… Over the ten year period since records began, the traffic through Lubumbashi alone accounts for in excess of 4000 chimpanzees lost…
(2) Poachers do capture young infants on demand. People “ordering” young chimpanzees are expatriates, but also members of the Congolese Army and other “high ranking” Congolese who use their uniforms or their power to detain, smuggle and sell little chimpanzees.
So, the Chantereaus couldn’t stay observing and see all these horrible things happen. Therefore, the sanctuary was created in 2006 and J.A.C.K. now exists to facilitate wildlife confiscations by the authorities through providing a safe place for the orphans to live for the time being.
J.A.C.K. mission is to enforce the laws that already exist as far as environment and protection of endangered species are concerned and, in a few years time, J.A.C.K. has managed to slow down the chimpanzee trade in and around Lubumbashi. Since 2014, no more chimpanzees have been seen on sale on the streets of Lubumbashi – a sign of hope for all these little apes who used to be smuggled through Lubumbashi; the second biggest city of the DRC that was a hub in chimpanzee trafficking!
This also has been possible thanks to J.A.C.K. spreading awareness and developping an on site Education Centre made of 4 education buildings. SinceJeunes Animaux Confisqués au Katanga (J.A.C.K.) is located in the city centre of Lubumbashi, it is a strategic place for Education: easy of access, the complex welcomes visitors, schools and authorities.
Conservation goes along with Education and therefore J.A.C.K. works with the young generations, but it also and mainly has to target individuals who either pose a threat to apes now (tourists, expatriates who are likely to purchase a primate pet) and/or who are in the position to help control threats faced by wild apes in the DRC (soldiers, government authorities, wildlife officials).
Chimpanzees are said to have about 20 years left in the wild. This means that they can’t wait today’s young generations to grow into conservation advocates. Great Apes need today’s adults to take action right now to give Chimpanzees a greater chance of survival.
In addition to this important mission of law enforcement, J.A.C.K. also closely works with the Environment authorities in the confiscation of parts ofdead endangered species (skins, ivory, elephant foot, etc).