Defender Radio and The Switch

Any time spent watching chimpanzees is valuable; they show tool use, complex social structures and behaviours, and, according to the latest science, are often quite adorable. It’s no surprise that humans are fascinated by chimpanzees, as we share 98.8 percent of our DNA with them.

But how humans treat chimpanzees isn’t always positive. Chimps are still poached for meat and are kept as pets or entertainment. On social media, chimps are dressed up, paraded about, and earn significant revenue for their owners and social media platforms. Tragically, these platforms have little in place to protect potentially exploited animals, and that’s something Dr. Jake Brooker wants to see change.

A research associate at Durham University, working at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage Trust, Dr. Brooker is studying the behaviour of rescued chimpanzees who were taken from the pet and bushmeat trades. In a recent article on, Dr. Brooker outlined the realities chimps face as a result of social media and the ongoing plight of wild chimpanzees. To share more about his experiences with the chimpanzees of Chimfunshi, what he’s learning about their incredible behaviour, emotional lives, and social structures, and how animal lovers can help protect chimpanzees, Dr. Brooker joins Defender Radio.


Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphange Trust:

Dr. Brooker's Durham University Page:

Dr. Brooker's work at Chimfunshi is funded by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation:

Dr. Jake Brooker on Twitter/X (, and Instagram (

Want to suggest topics for Defender Radio? Reach out to us at, by visiting or engaging host Michael Howie on social media via Instagram ( or Facebook ( 

Defender Radio is produced by The Fur-Bearers (, a charitable non-partisan organization whose mandate is to advocate on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, promote coexistence solutions in communities and protect the habitats of fur-bearing animals across Canada. You can follow The Fur-Bearers on Instagram (, Twitter ( and Facebook ( 

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_S10E04_Jake_Brooker_Chimfunshi.mp3
Category:Season 10 -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Wildlife rehabilitators are incredible people: they dedicate their time, personal or professional, to assisting wild animals who are injured or orphaned. It takes a lot to successfully navigate the provincial bureaucracies, fundraising, administration, and volunteer wrangling – let alone actually caring for the animals. I regularly stand in awe of such individuals, and as such, am thrilled to connect with Bonnie Dell, Executive Director of Wildlife Rescue Society of Saskatchewan.

Bonnie joins Defender Radio to share the story of WRSOS, the challenges faced daily in providing care for Saskatchewan’s wildlife, and how people can support WRSOS, their local rehabilitator, and get involved.

Episode art features Tinker, a fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) who was successfully rehabilitated and released by WRSOS!


Wildlie Rescue Society of Saskatchewan website:

WRSOS on Facebook (, Instagram (, YouTube (, and LinkedIn (

Want to suggest topics for Defender Radio? Reach out to us at, by visiting or engaging host Michael Howie on social media via Instagram ( or Facebook ( 

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_S10E03_Bonnie_Dell_WRSOS.mp3
Category:Season 10 -- posted at: 5:00am EDT