Rickie and Henri

by Jane Goodall and Alan Marks

This story about an unusual animal friendship opens with a realistic and disturbing... read more

This story about an unusual animal friendship opens with a realistic and disturbing account of an adult female chimpanzee’s death by gunshot. The hunters who killed the chimp take her infant to a Brazzaville market in the Congo Republic, where the capture and sale of young chimpanzees is illegal but not uncommon. Rescued by a Congolese man, the infant, Rickie, receives shelter and veterinary care in his home. She also meets Henri, the family dog. At first the relationship between the two animals is tenuous, but during their human guardian’s extended absence, Rickie turns to Henri for companionship. Henri responds favorably and soon the two spend their days together, Rickie riding on Henri’s back. Eventually Rickie is taken to a chimpanzee sanctuary to live among her own species. Renowned conservationist Jane Goodall’s postscript describes the Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Congo Republic where Rickie currently lives with more than 100 other chimpanzees. Although release into the wild is the preferred outcome for these orphans, adequate habitat not already in use by humans or other feral chimpanzees is unavailable. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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