We’ve all seen the inspiring photo of Dr. Jane Goodall in a loving embrace with a chimpanzee. It’s a photo that appeared in media all across the world but many are unaware of the incredible story behind the recognizable photograph. The photo is representative of the likeness and relationship of humans and chimpanzees and opened the door for many to realize that animals are not very different from humans. Similarly, we all have the same basic needs- love, respect, compassion, freedom to live our lives.

For the chimpanzee in the photo, the loving embrace was a thank you to her caretakers after a long, hard road that she would amazingly recover from. Her name is Wounda, and she was originally rescued from the bushmeat trade. The bushmeat industry refers to the illegal and unsustainable over-hunting of wildlife for meat and profit. Wounda was taken to the Jane Goodall Institute’s Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center very close to death. It is how Wounda got her name, which literally translates to “close to death.”

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As Dr. Goodall, herself stated, “I didn’t see how she possibly could live.”

Live she did, however, thanks to Wounda’s fighting spirit and the remarkable care of Dr. Atencia who performed the first blood transfusion from chimp to chimp in Africa. This was the beginning of a new life for Wounda and would set the stage for an incredible recovery leading up to her release onto Tchimpounga’s island sanctuary of Tchindzoulou.

Like Wounda, all animals deserve a second chance at the lives they deserve but they need the help of compassionate animal lovers like you. To support the work of the Jane Goodall Institute, click here.

Image Source: Fernando Turmo/Jane Goodall Institute

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