It's with sadness that we write to tell you that a special friend passed away yesterday. You may already be familiar with Gregoire - the oldest living chimpanzee in Africa and a celebrity throughout the Congo.
He was the best known of the more than 140 chimpanzees living at JGI's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center - a sanctuary for chimpanzees orphaned by the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. In fact, he was something of an international celebrity, having been on the cover of National Geographic and featured in Animal Planet and BBC television specials.
Gregoire was also a study in resilience, having survived more than 40 years of solitary display in a barren cage at a zoo and then an airlift during a civil war.
More than anything, however, Gregoire was a beloved personality, known for his playfulness even far into old age and a mellow disposition. We'll miss him, but we are so happy to have been able to help him find companionship and contentment in his twilight years.
He is one example of the ways we are making a difference for people, animals and the environment.
PLEASE READ THIS-
Gregorie's Story, so sad-thank god he was rescued!http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/janegoodall/earthalert/earthalertgregorie.html
I been following Jane's career ever since I was fascinated by her when I was a little girl. I collected all the National Geographic magazine's that she was in. I was blessed to meet her about 7 years ago in Pasadena, Ca. at The Huntington Art Museum. I talked to her & handed her my letter. I was shocked when I got a beautiful 'Eagle and the Wren' postcard from her, writing me from South Africa! What a gift that I treasure! She has always been and will always be one of my major heroes for all the hard work she has done through out her life and tireless efforts on behalf of these lovely creatures that are so close to us humans. ;o) She is truely amazing as so was/is Gregoire! I wish I could be right there by her side, doing that same kind of work. *sighs*... Maybe someday! It was awful and a sad sad trajady what poor poor Gregoire went thru for 50 some odd years, but I am so glad Jane found him, saved him and it makes my heart flutter to know he was happy in the last years of his life. Which is the most important, isn't it?