Jane Goodall at the Bioparco di Roma: the coordination between Italian zoos for the welfare of chimpanzees presented

Rome, May 2, 2024. The English scientist Jane Goodall, a primatologist and environmentalist known worldwide for her groundbreaking studies on chimpanzees, participated today in the meeting entitled: ‘welfare of Great Primates. Change is possible’ at the Bioparco di Roma, during which the newborn “Coordination ABC” (Anthropomorphs: Welfare and Conservation) between four Italian zoological gardens was presented.
Goodall stated: “I am delighted to come to Italy, given the efforts of some zoological facilities to improve the living conditions of chimpanzees and other animals in captivity”.

“Scientific discoveries in the field have clearly demonstrated that an intelligent and versatile species like the chimpanzee, if in captivity, must be able to live strictly in innovative structures that meet their physiological and behavioral needs”. On this last point, the primatologist, United Nations Messenger of Peace, added: “we hope that our proposal for a Ministerial Decree aimed at protecting chimpanzees and other primates to the fullest will be accepted. For a chimpanzee, no structure can ever be compared to life in the wild – she concluded – so the facilities that host them must ensure the best living conditions”.
Welcoming her for the Municipality of Rome was the Councilor for Agriculture, Environment and waste cycle of Rome Capital Sabrina Alfonsi, who stated: “it is a great honor to welcome Jane Goodall to the Bioparco, an eminent primatologist but also a woman symbol of extraordinary value for her commitment to peace, for the protection of the environment and the future of the Planet. Her presence has the meaning of a recognition of great prestige for the activity that the Bioparco di Roma carries out in collaboration with a vast network of Italian and international research institutes, accrediting itself as a structure of excellence in ensuring the maximum welfare to the hosted animals. I thank Professor Goodall for making her experiences, her studies and above all her message available, that learning about nature is not enough, but that it is necessary to learn from nature. To build a better future – concludes the Councilor – young generations can really make a difference: for this reason, education must be our constant commitment, so that from strong roots new, flourishing, shoots can grow. Because only together, change is possible”.

Today, Goodall also baptized the “Coordination ABC (Anthropomorphs: Welfare and Conservation) which brings together the forces of four zoological facilities: Bioparco di Roma, Parco Natura Viva (Verona), Safari Ravenna and Bioparco di Sicilia, to share new protocols aimed at implementing the physical and psycho-social welfare of chimpanzees. The project coordinates actions at environmental, behavioral, psychological, nutritional and cognitive levels, both at individual and group levels, aimed at improving the overall quality of life of these anthropomorphic monkeys with complex cognitive and social capacities, with which humans share over 98% of the genetic heritage.

Many chimpanzees in Italian zoological gardens come from seizures by authorities. These individuals have suffered deep childhood traumas, probably being torn from their mothers by poachers and illegal traffickers and raised in a human environment. They have therefore not had the opportunity to develop social and relational skills with conspecifics, which are essential for these primates. For them, patient action for psychological recovery and socialization is necessary, respecting their personalities and individual characteristics.

“At the Bioparco di Roma – emphasized the President of the Bioparco Foundation, Professor Paola Palanza, ethologist – we welcomed over time four chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): the three females Susy, Edy, and Pippi and the male Bingo, all coming from seizures. Already over twenty years ago we created a cutting-edge area dedicated to these primates, the Chimpanzee Village, which Jane Goodall herself visited in 2002. We have created a dedicated staff of ethologists, nutrition biologists, veterinarians, and keepers to ensure the psychological and social recovery of individuals and the harmony of the group, in the maximum environmental well-being possible”. “For some years now – concludes Palanza – a project has been active, in collaboration with the University Roma Tre and welcoming students from various Italian universities, which provides a series of targeted management interventions to improve the psycho-physical well-being of animals. These interventions relate to the area that hosts the animals, in terms of environmental enrichments (sensory, cognitive stimuli and choice opportunities), both to relational dynamics (intra- and inter-specific), and finally to their metabolism, through nutrition programs.”

“Ten years after Jane Goodall’s visit to Parco Natura Viva – intervenes Cesare Avesani Zaborra, CEO of Parco Natura Viva in Bussolengo – chimpanzees return to the scene. Research, conservation, and dissemination: these are the three pillars on which the primatologist’s work is based, which we have taken to heart. We have brought to six the scientific research published in refereed journals relating to our colony of ten chimpanzees, the largest at the national level. Collecting behavioral data – explains

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By Iggy Poppins

Iggy Poppins is a Freelance Journalist, Photographer, Videomaker, wiriter and a little bit artist. The nickname was born casually...

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