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Celebrate World Chimpanzee Day at the Detroit Zoo July 14

Event recognizes first birthday of chimpanzee Jane

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is celebrating World Chimpanzee Day, recognizing the 59th anniversary of the day legendary primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall first traveled to what is now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to study the social interactions of wild chimpanzees. This special event, planned for Sunday, July 14, at the Detroit Zoo’s Great Apes of Harambee, also celebrates the first birthday of chimpanzee Jane, who was born on the inaugural World Chimpanzee Day in 2018 and was named after Dr. Goodall.

“By naming the baby chimpanzee Jane – and through this special event – we want to recognize her namesake’s important work and bring awareness to the lives of chimpanzees and their conservation in nature,” said DZS Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter.

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A giant birthday card for Jane will be available for guests to sign. Zookeeper talks will be held at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Guests will be able to practice using tools similar to the way chimpanzees do, using sticks and a replica termite mound. They will also have the opportunity to practice being a chimpanzee field researcher using an ethogram, which is regularly used by scientists to observe animal behavior.

The Zoo’s 4-acre indoor-outdoor Great Apes of Harambee is home to 11 chimpanzees and three western lowland gorillas. Jane is the second baby born to mother, Abby, 36, and the fourth in 10 years for father, Imara, 23, who also sired daughters Zuhura, 5, and Akira, 7, as well as son Ajua, 10. Abby also gave birth to daughter Chiana, 25, at the Detroit Zoo.

Chimpanzees are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss, disease, fragmented populations and illegal wildlife trafficking.

The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.  With an annual regional economic impact of more than $167 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually.  Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,400 animals representing 235 species.  The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.  It provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community.  For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

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