m_2024-01-29_10.58.05 Bestattungen Dunker - Kondolenzbücher - Christophe Boesch
Christophe Boesch

Christophe Boesch


Christophe Boesch


The unexpected passing of Professor Dr. Christophe Boesch leaves his family, friends and colleagues in profound sorrow. He succumbed to a brief illness, and his departure leaves a significant void that will be deeply felt.

The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation remains committed to his legacy and assures  the continuation of its exceptional conservation efforts without any disruption.

In this challenging time, we express our utmost gratitude for your unwavering support.

Hedwige Boesch

Le décès inattendu du Professeur Dr. Christophe Boesch laisse sa famille, ses amis et ses collègues dans une profonde tristesse.

Il a succombé à une brève maladie et son départ laisse un vide important qui sera profondément ressenti.

La Wild Chimpanzee Foundation reste attachée à son héritage et assure la poursuite de ses efforts de conservation exceptionnels sans aucune interruption.

En cette période difficile, nous exprimons notre plus grande gratitude pour votre soutien indéfectible.

Hedwige Boesch

Christophe_Boesch_1_copyright_Frederic_Noy_WCF Bestattungen Dunker - Kondolenzbücher - Christophe Boesch

We would like to thank on behalf of Christophe for a donation to:

Médecins sans frontières

IBAN: CH18 0024 0240 3760 6000

IBAN: DE72 3702 0500 0009 8098 04


 Stiftung Pro Artenvielfalt

IBAN: DE47 2501 0030 0905 9063 07

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After the photos have been checked, they will be published here after 24 hours at the latest.



Alastair Fothergill, am 23. Februar 2024 um 11:39 Uhr

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I had the enormous privilege of working with Christophe and Hedwige on a number of wildlife film projects in the Tai forest. The first of these was for Sir David Attenborough"s landmark behavioural series "The Trails of Life" in 1989. Christophe and his team had only recently described the co-operative hunting of monkeys, which at that time was a very exciting new discovery. For and my cameraman keeping up with Christophe in the forest was always very challenging and I vividly remember him questioning whether the then 63 year old Sir David would ever be able manage it. In the end ,Christophe and Hedwige made us all very welcome at Tai and we captured a very powerful sequence. David, crouching beside three male chimps about to rip a colobus apart, explained that, despite the apparent horror of the scene, we had just witness the most organised and intelligent hunt in nature. Sir David always remembers this as one of the most powerful scenes he has ever witnessed.
Working with Christophe was always challenging, exciting and invigorating. He was always very clear with his opinions and it was not always easy to win his trust. But I admired him enormously for so many reasons:the pioneering work he and Hedwige did to start the Tai project in the first place; all he did to inspire and nurture other scientists; his passion for research and conservation; the extraordinary work of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation; and his patience with film makers like me.
My deepest condolences go to Hedwige, his family and many friends.

SOW Mamadou Bhoye, am 18. Februar 2024 um 08:24 Uhr

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Bonjour chers collaborateurs et parents de Christophe, C'est avec une grande tristesse que nous apprenons le décès de ce collègue avec qui nous avons eu des excellentes relations et des difficultés à mettre en place le Parc National du Moyen Bafing. Je reconnais à lui un homme scientifique , courageux et combatif pour atteindre les objectifs et qui a donné sa vie pour la conservation de la diversité biologique en Général et pour le Chimpanzé en particulier

Ian Gilby, am 14. Februar 2024 um 19:04 Uhr

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Christophe was a giant in the field, always pushing the boundaries. My sincere condolences to his colleagues, family, and friends. Chimpanzees have lost one of their biggest champions.

Ilka Herbinger, am 10. Februar 2024 um 17:25 Uhr

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As with many others, Christophe and Hedwige shaped and marked many years of my life. I would actually say, Christophe accompanied and mentored me during my most important phases of my life…that is during my whole academic life as my master and PhD supervisor as well as during my first professional steps in nature conservation. He therefore saw and made me grow as a scientist and later as a conservationist. He also closely followed me getting married to one of his Tai Chimpanzee Project field assistants and becoming a mother in Côte d’Ivoire.

At first it took him a while to gain trust in me as I first met him in 1992 in Tai, whilst working together with a former PhD student of Christophe in Djiroutou – in the southern part of the Tai forest – to habituate chimpanzees for an ecotourism project. Christophe did not think very highly of his former PhD student who never finished his studies and hence was not thrilled when I approached him, asking for a visit to the Tai Chimpanzee Project. Having spent one day with Christophe and the habituated north group chimps, it was clear to me that I wanted to come back and become one of his students.

When I contacted Christophe again a year later requesting to be able to do my master with him, he asked me in which University I was studying. When I told him in Frankfurt he said he had never heard about that university before, so it cannot be a good one and if I wanted to become one of his students I would need to change to a university that actually knows something about primatology and evolution… So I did change to Göttingen university and specialized in Anthropology. He finally accepted me as a master student but still tested me on my commitment by letting me habituate a new group in Tai during my master thesis.

During my master I finally gained his full trust and not only continued as a PhD student, but also as a camp manager and most importantly he entrusted me with building up the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in West Africa, which I then led for about 12 years and really shaped my whole professional career as well as my private life afterwards.

Growing up with my mother, I never had a father figure in my life. Christophe is surely the one man in my life, that came closest to what I imagine a father is and can be … someone for whom you have deep loyalty, admiration, respect and love. Someone you also revolt against at times but you always come back and find ways to reconcile, constructively discuss and end any disagreements with a laughter and smile.

Christophe, we shared so many moments together, I will keep my endless memories awake as will all the people and chimpanzees you have encountered in your far too short life.

Adam Boyette, am 10. Februar 2024 um 12:36 Uhr

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I had the privilege and pleasure of spending a month doing field work with Christophe in the Central African Republic in 2012. He had wanted to compare how people collect and crack open Irvingia nuts to the nut-cracking behavior he had observed among chimpanzees, and I was lucky enough to have been available to take him to the Aka, with whom I had been studying childhood and social learning for my dissertation. It was an incredible adventure in many senses.

To get to the forest where there was a lot of nut foraging at the time, we had to organize a team of young men to take us on motorcycles from a small logging town down a sand-covered path to a remote village. Neither of us fell on the way in, though we both did on the way out -- no one was badly hurt, though he ended up with a cut on his leg. But the intellectual adventure was just as thrilling and more impactful.

Christophe's passion and compassion, charm, sharp intellect, and incredibly keen ability to observe behavior made a profound impression on me. We really enjoyed each other's company -- and that in conditions that many people might find extremely challenging. But we were both at home in the forest.

He gave me so much confidence as a young researcher just by giving me the opportunity to be his guide and trusting me to navigate the cultural context in which we were to do our work. Much of this work involved walking in the forest with Aka women and watching them cracking nuts. In one of the only instance of food preservation among the Aka, they make a cake out of these nuts, payu, which is dried and can be kept for months. You can grate pieces of this cake into your pot and it makes a nutty, slimy sauce, like okra. The women gave us each one of these payu cakes the day we were to leave their settlement. Christophe was very moved but refused to take it -- he said we have so much where we come from and they have so little, and they put all of that work into making this--the foraging and preparation -- this was a lot of food! They should keep it, he said, because it is too much to give us. I knew that sharing was important to them, and that they had appreciated our presence and the strange but friendly and enjoyable time we had all shared together. He was right, it was a lot of work, but they wanted us to take the gift. After all, we clearly liked these nuts, having just spent a month focused on them! I convinced Christophe that we should take just one of the cakes and share it, and all parties accepted this. I was moved by his refusal. He was right - we were already getting so much from these kind people. But we shared our time and ourselves with them too, and it was appreciated.

That short time in the forest I was lucky to have shared with Christophe impacted me, just as he has deeply impacted so many lives, human and chimpanzee. My sincerest condolences go out to Hedwige and all those closest to him. Christophe, you will be profoundly missed.

Haneul Jang, am 10. Februar 2024 um 02:04 Uhr

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Dear Christophe, thank you for everything, for having been who you are, for having been there for all of us and for all the wild chimpanzees in the world. Thank you for visiting the BaYaka people in the Republic of Congo, for pursuing research there, and for giving me an opportunity to go there and live with them, which has completely changed my life. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn from you and Karline, I remember our countless discussions in your office. Thank you for raising me as a researcher who can also think of how to protect the forest, the home of the people there. I am incredibly lucky that I could learn your passion and faith to make the world a better place. Christophe, you lit a candle to this world, for chimpanzees, people, and the forest in Africa. Now all of us behind you will keep fighting to keep the candle that you lit. You are my hero, our hero, forever, and ‘papa mondele’ forever to our BaYaka family in Congo.

Elizabeth Lonsdorf, am 09. Februar 2024 um 16:27 Uhr

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Christophe was a true champion for the study and conservation of chimpanzees. My deepest condolences to his family, both personal and professional.

Morgane Allanic, am 09. Februar 2024 um 16:13 Uhr

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Cher Christophe,
Le monde de la primatologie et de la conservation a perdu un grand Homme. Ton départ est d'autant plus choquant qu'il y a à peine deux mois nous étions en Guinée à explorer de nouvelles forêts classées. Je mesure l'honneur et la chance d'avoir pu partager ces deux ans et demi avec toi et d'avoir pu tant apprendre. Merci d'avoir consacré ta vie à la protection et conservation des chimpanzés ainsi que pour tout ton travail en faveur des communautés locales. Je me souviendrai toujours de nos longues conversations sur les chimpanzés et les éléphants de Sabouyah, ces derniers que tu aimais tant.

Mes plus sincères condoléances à Hedwige, à vos enfants et petits enfants.

Grit Schubert, am 07. Februar 2024 um 19:15 Uhr

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Dear Hedwige,
It was with great sadness that I learned of Christophe's sudden death. My sincere condolences go out to you and your family.

Christophe left his mark on me and will never be forgotten. I still remember how he encouraged me when, as a newcomer to the forest, I called him weekly from the only phone in Tai village to share with him my enthusiasm, but also my frustrations about life in the forest and the search for wild chimpanzees. He taught me that science is not just about knowledge, intellect and ego. I learned from him to show empathy and to take responsibility for apes, nature and people in my work.
I thank him wholeheartedly for this and hope that you, Hedwige, find some comfort in the fact that Christophe has inspired so many people.

Benjamin Debetencourt, am 07. Februar 2024 um 16:16 Uhr

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Je me souviens encore de la première fois que j’ai rencontré Christophe alors que j’étais volontaire pour la WCF au Parc National de Taï. J’avais été totalement fasciné par les anecdotes sur sa vie, sa connaissance et son amour pour les chimpanzés. Je ne pourrai jamais assez le remercier pour sa passion contagieuse, le soutien dans les moments difficiles et toutes les aventures que j’ai pu vivre, à Leipzig comme en Guinée, grâce à lui.
Mes plus sincères condoléances Hedwige, ainsi qu´à toute votre famille.

ZABOUO ARMAND AIME, am 07. Februar 2024 um 11:18 Uhr

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Merci CB pour ton enseignement,
Merci pour ta passion à nous transmise,
Merci pour l'éco-héritage que tu nous a laissé,
Merci CB,

A jamais dans nos cœurs !

Souleymane SOUARE, am 07. Februar 2024 um 01:00 Uhr

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Toutes mes condoléances. Que l'âme du Professeur repose en paix.

Lisa Orth, am 06. Februar 2024 um 11:28 Uhr

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Dear Christophe,

When I moved to Leipzig for my master programme in biology I was first a bit dillusioned with the offers for classes in ecology. But then there was this one seminar about behavioural ecology in primates at the MPI and from the first moment on I knew that I wanted to stick around for a bit. After the seminar, several student jobs and a master thesis at the institute I can happily look back on that inspiring time, the wonderful and genius, yet humble people I met.

Grace à toi. Merci beaucoup pour ces souvenirs qui vont rester pour toujours au fond de mon cœur, des cœurs de beaucoup de personnes autour du monde qui ont reçu la chance de se connecter par leurs passions.

Mein herzlichstes Beileid an Hedwige & Familie

Luc LUBUNGA, am 06. Februar 2024 um 10:06 Uhr

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Où que vous soyez, Prof. Dr le Mwalimu Christophe Boesch, vous resterez vivant à travers votre lutte pour le conservation de la nature, l'amour du monde et de l'Afrique en particulier.
Vous êtes pas mort mais plutôt au repos.

Luc LUBUNGA, am 06. Februar 2024 um 10:02 Uhr

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Où que vous soyez, Prof, Dr, le Mwalimu Christophe Boesch vous resterez vivant à travers votre lutte pour la conservation de la nature, l'amour du monde et de l'Afrique en particulier.

Patrick KASANGIJ, am 05. Februar 2024 um 20:48 Uhr

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Cher Christophe,
Merci de pour tes efforts en faveur de la protection des chimpanzés et de la biodiversité. Nous essayons de marcher sur tes traces, c'est la seul façon pour nous de te rendre hommage . Mes condoléances à la famille, repose en paix.

Pacifique kizila, am 05. Februar 2024 um 20:20 Uhr

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My sincere condoleances for the family and rest in peace!

Astrid Eckstein, am 05. Februar 2024 um 12:39 Uhr

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Dear Christophe,
25 years ago, in the very early days of the MPI, I had the great fortune to get to know you as the friendly and generous person you were. I always appreciated your patience and kindness. Even though our paths crossed just for a short period of time, I have very fond memories of that time, and I will miss having you in this world. I have always followed your work from afar and I’m amazed what you have achieved, especially with the WCF. You made a real difference – not only for the chimpanzees, but also for the many people you worked with.

My heartfelt condolences to Hedwige and her children, Christhope’s family and friends and those who worked most closely with him.

Sarah Brosnan, am 04. Februar 2024 um 21:27 Uhr

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Christophe did so much to show how incredibly cooperative and intelligent chimpanzees really are. I send my deepest condolences to all of his family and colleagues.

Elena Lieven and Pat Devine, am 04. Februar 2024 um 17:52 Uhr

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My very first evening in Leipzig was spent with Hedwige, Christophe and Mike. We became fast friends and I cannot believe that dear Christophe is gone. I loved his company - often teasing me, quite a lot of intense discussion and such a kind and generous friend. He was just the right person to work at negotiating with local African governments to establish national wildlife parks: charming and courteous but also detemined and persistent. His and Hedwige's magnificent work for the WCF is a lasting memorial to him. Elena
I got to know Christophe and Hedwige over many visits to see Elena when she was working at the Institute. He was a lovely man, very welcoming and generous. I can't believe he is no more. Pat
We will both miss him terribly and send all our love and sympathy to Hedwige, Lucas, Leo and all the family.

Serge Soiret, am 04. Februar 2024 um 16:40 Uhr

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Vous avez été et resterez toujours une source d’inspiration pour moi Professeur Christophe Boesch.
Homme humble et toujours disponible, vous étiez à la recherche d’un étudiant ivoirien pour des recherches sur les chimpanzés de Djouroutou, une zone du Parc de Taï oublié du monde scientifique et abritant une importante communauté de chimpanzés. Votre choix s'est porté sur ma personne.
Nos rencontres une fois chaque année en Côte d’Ivoire était toujours pour moi un moment de retrouvaille et de grande joie dans la forêt de Djouroutou. Merci Professeur de m’avoir donné cette chance d’étudier les chimpanzés. Grâce à vous j’ai connu ma première expérience de marche nocturne en forêt. Votre esprit sera toujours présent dans la forêt de Taï principalement dans la zone de Djouroutou où vous avez contribué significativement à l’habituation des chimpanzés de cette partie du parc.
J’adresse mes sincères condoléances à Hedwige, ses enfants et aux proches de Christophe Boesch.
Rest in Peace Mentor.

Karline Janmaat, am 04. Februar 2024 um 12:32 Uhr

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My mother passed away in October. Christophe and my mum shared a few very special traits. She was a very brave and curious woman. She made me think big and taught me to not be afraid to speak up about matters that, I thought, were unjust - to anyone, no matter who. When I would say to her that something was not possible, she would always reply with a Dutch saying: ‘Cannot’ is laying at the churchyard, and ‘impossible’ is laying on the other side. Just start and you will make it.

In those words, I found in Christophe’s department a second home. Christophe supported me after I had sent crazy “to all” emails to express my opinion about the incorrect order of co-authors on scientific papers. It made us both laugh afterward. And he gave me opportunities that I believe no one else would have given. He enabled Simone and me to follow one chimpanzee, Isha, for 53 consecutive days and in three subsequent years while mapping 15,000 feeding trees in her territory. I remember when I started this project, Christina came to me in the hallway asking me if I knew that the money, I spent for our fieldwork was paid by German taxpayers. I did not immediately know how to reply, but I knew I had Christophe’s support to start this almost insane endeavor to really get into the mind of a chimpanzee and to learn what they needed for survival - to understand their ways of thinking.

Later he gave me the opportunity to conduct the same study with the BaYaka, to not only compare the WEIRD with captive chimps but to expand our horizon of knowledge on what makes us human. It could have been career suicide, comparing African people to chimpanzees, but with the support of Christophe, I found the necessary courage to do it. He gave me courage; no scientific challenge was impossible for me in his presence.

Now in the Netherlands, I have become a professor myself. For 9 years now I have taught young students about the research we did with Simone on the chimps and with Haneul on the BaYaka. And every year I see a couple of wondering eyes. The research captivates the student’s attention and changes the way they think about chimps, but also themselves. And many of them apply for PhD positions to discover more about our closest living relatives and themselves. Every year, I get reminded of the opportunities Christophe gave me and in that way, he lives on.

I believe that Christophe is and will stay with us for some time. After the passing of my mum, I saw an abnormal number of rainbows when my brother and I would meet to for example go to the notary. It was maybe because I had become more attentive to these things. But I like to think differently. Christophe is anyways still part of us in who we became and in the way we choose to live. I hope that can give some consolation to his loved ones. I wish them time to fully process their loss.

Julia Cissewski, am 04. Februar 2024 um 09:10 Uhr

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Dear Hedwige,

On behalf of the members of Orang-Utans in Not e.V. (Orangutans in Need) I send our heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

Christophe’s energy and persistence in protecting wild chimpanzees has been an inspiration also for those of us concerned with the survival of other great ape species. This includes our organization, which aims to protect orangutans on Borneo and Sumatra.

And the work continues, as Christophe would wish. We shall try to match his passion and commitment, as a fitting way of remembering him.

To you personally we offer our concern and support at this very difficult time.

Julia Cissewski
President, Orang-Utans in Not e.V.

Volker Sommer, am 04. Februar 2024 um 07:16 Uhr

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Christophe Boesch elevated chimpanzee research and conservation efforts in unprecedented ways by initiating PanAf. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this Pan African Programme (PanAf) –which significantly adds to Christophe's lasting legacy.

Julia Lehmann, am 03. Februar 2024 um 18:32 Uhr

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Mein allerherzlichstes Beileid und mein tiefstes Mitgefühl gelten Dir, liebe Hedwig und Deiner Familie. It was a shock to hear about Christophes passing when he still had so many plans. I hope it is some comfort to you to know that he lived life to the fullest and that the two of you made a huge difference to so many people (and other creatures) across the world - not many can say that! Christophe may be no longer there in person but his legacy and work and ideas will be around for a very long time to come. He will not be forgotten! X

JOHN MITANI, am 03. Februar 2024 um 17:07 Uhr

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I send my deepest sympathy and condolences to Hedwige and Christophe’s family.

I met Christophe over 30 years ago in the best of all places for those of us who conduct research on chimpanzees, Gombe National Park. I was new to the study of chimpanzees, and Christophe had already contributed much to our knowledge about them. I took advantage of this wonderful opportunity, and picked his brain asking him many questions. After that initial meeting, I saw Christophe from time to time over the years – again at Gombe, the MPI-EVA, the occasional academic meeting, and during a memorable visit he made to Ngogo. He was always genial and kind, and I was grateful for the time we had to talk, especially about the chimpanzees we studied and loved. I regret that I won’t have those times again. Christophe’s life has been tragically cut short, and with his passing, wild chimpanzees have lost a powerful voice to advocate for their conservation. They and many others will miss him.

Sylvina Vierke, am 03. Februar 2024 um 13:42 Uhr

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Mein aufrichtiges und herzliches Beileid, liebe Hedwige.
Christophe hat mich vor vielen, vielen Jahren am MPI eingestellt. Unsere Gespräche waren stets interessant und "arbeitsfördernd". Ich habe sehr gern mit ihm zusammengearbeitet und werde ihn stets in guter Erinnerung behalten.
Mit stillem Gruß und mitfühlender Anteilnahme...

Susan Perry, am 03. Februar 2024 um 03:26 Uhr

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What a loss to the chimpanzees of the Taï forest! He and Hedwige have done so much to promote the conservation of wild chimpanzees, both by immersion in the communities near the forest and by convincing the global community that this species is worth preserving. I hope Hedwige, Cathy and Roman will be able to continue this important conservation work that Christophe began. My condolences to Hedwige.

Anna Preis, am 02. Februar 2024 um 22:49 Uhr

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I would like to express my deepest condolences to you Hedwige, your children and grandchildren and everyone else who Christophe touched in their hearts. I still cannot imagine a world without Christophe and I can hardly imagine how difficult his sudden and much too early loss must be for you and his loved ones.

My own little family would not exist if Christophe had not sent me to Gabon to help with the habituation of chimpanzees in Loango National Park (before my PhD) and to Guinea to help establish Moyen Bafing National Park (after my PhD). He has supported me enormously over the years and I have learned so much from him, for which I will be eternally grateful.

Christophe was an extraordinary person who made the impossible possible and fought tirelessly for the survival of the wild West African chimpanzees. I have no doubt that the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation will continue his extraordinary conservation work successfully.

With heartfelt sympathy, Anna, Eric and Malia

Annerose Beck, am 02. Februar 2024 um 13:38 Uhr

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Liebe Familie Boesch, liebe Angehörige,

mir ist es leider in meiner Arbeit im Sächsischen Wissenschaftsministe rium nur ein mal vergönnt gewesen, Professor Christophe Boesch auch persönlich zu begegnen und mit ihm ins Gespräch zu kommen. Seine Leidenschaft für die Primatenforschung, sein Wortwitz und seine Menschlichkeit werden mir jedoch immer in Erinnerung bleiben. Es sind diese Begegnungen, die unser Menschsein am Ende ausmachen, dafür bin ich ihm unendlich dankbar.

Ich wünsche Ihnen viel Kraft und Zuversicht.
Mit aufrichtiger Anteilnahme und tiefem Mitgefühl
Annerose Beck

David Watts, am 02. Februar 2024 um 03:17 Uhr

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I was so shocked and saddened to learn of Christophe's death. He was truly a great person; he accomplished so much, and had so much more to give. I did not always agree with him about understanding chimpanzees or about we learn about ourselves from studying them, but I probably don't agree unequivocally with anyone about such things. I learned so much from him, and he was always a great inspiration. I owe him a great debt intellectually and personally. More importantly, he did so much for the wild chimpanzees he loved, including all the support he gave to our colleagues from Ivory Coast and other chimpanzee range countries whose efforts and dedication to conservation are so crucially important. Wild chimpanzees may not be aware of this, but they will sorely miss him, and I'm sure that if they could understand what his loss means, they would join me in offering my sincere condolences to Hedwige and the rest of his family.

Frans de Waal, am 02. Februar 2024 um 01:57 Uhr

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My condolences to Hedwige and all others close to Christophe. Christophe put Western chimpanzees on the map and made us realize that all the hype in the media about how terribly violent chimpanzees are is mostly based on studies in East Africa. He was a consummate fieldworker and conservationist, always defending chimpanzees, incl. against scientists who failed to see their inherent intelligence. He will be greatly missed.

Ammie Kalan, am 01. Februar 2024 um 23:59 Uhr

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It's hard to find the words to explain the enormous gratitude I feel for Christophe and the tragic loss his passing has for so many, especially the chimpanzees he worked tirelessly to protect.
Thank you for challenging me, for giving me the privilege of studying chimpanzees as my career, for being my Doktorvater and always supporting me when I needed it most. I will do my best to keep your zest for adventure and passion for apes at the very heart of my work.

Jan Engelmann, am 01. Februar 2024 um 21:30 Uhr

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Thank you for showing us that high-quality research and conservation can co-exist. Personally, thank you also very much for giving me my first chance of doing research with chimpanzees.

Bettina Behrend, PhD, am 01. Februar 2024 um 21:21 Uhr

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Aufrichtige Anteilnahme

Liebe Hedwige,
Familie und Angehörige,

Im Namen aller Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter des Vereins Rettet den Regenwald e.V. sende ich meine herzliche Anteilnahme zum Tod Deines Mannes Christophe Boesch. In diesem schweren Moment sind wir mit Dir, Deiner Familie und dem Team der WCF.

Wir haben Christophe Boesch als bewundernswerten Primatenforscher kennen und schätzen gelernt. Mit der WCF hat er eine Organisation aufgebaut und geleitet, die sich wie keine andere dem Schutz der Schimpansen verschrieben hat.

Wir haben Christophe als engagiert, kompetent und dabei bescheiden erlebt. Sein persönlicher Zugang zu den Menschen hat uns inspiriert. Ihm ist es zu verdanken, dass der Primatenschutz der WCF den Charakter von Graswurzelprojekten hat. Mich persönlich hat ein Projekt von überwiegend weiblichen Ecoguards begeistert.

Dieses vielfältige Erbe wird fortbestehen.

Liebes WCF-Team, wir sind überzeugt davon, dass die Zukunft der Organisation bei Euch weiterhin in guten Händen ist. Christophe Boesch wird auch uns fehlen.

Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie viel Kraft und Zuversicht in dieser schweren Zeit.

Bettina Behrend
1. Vorsitzende Rettet den Regenwald e.V.

Joseph ANO, am 01. Februar 2024 um 19:26 Uhr

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J'ai eu le grand honneur de rencontrer le Professeur Christophe BOESCH dans le cadre de mes études à la Wild Chimpanzee Foundation où j’ai passé plusieurs années à me forger au monde de la conservation de la faune (1er article scientifique et autres documents de renom).
Je garderai toujours le souvenir d'un "grand Monsieur " d'une gentillesse extrême, humain, disponible, et qui aimait raconter avec passion l'amour de son métier et le distillé aux autres
Soyez certain que le Prof. BOESCH ne quittera jamais notre mémoire et permettez-moi de vous (chère famille et proches du Prof Christophe) adresser mes plus sincères condoléances.
Dieu a donné ; Dieu a repris ! Que son âme repose en paix !

Shelly Masi, am 01. Februar 2024 um 17:59 Uhr

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Dear Christophe,
I still cannot believe what has happened to you...to a great man like you, after travelling so much and bringing back your experience and expertise to all of us from everywhere in the forested world!!!
I will never forget what you did for all of us when we were students at the Max Planck...you provided us with your scientific criticism and scientific intelligence! I personally learned a lot from you! And I will never forget how, behind your initial stern appearance, you were in reality such a sunny and positive person!
My warmest thoughts and deepest condolences go, of course, to Hedwige and your kids...
You will always be in each of us .... in what we are today as primatologists!
Grazie mille for all you have done for us and for our beloved great apes!

Julia Fischer, am 01. Februar 2024 um 17:25 Uhr

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Christophe had a magical ability to share his love for the chimpanzees and other African apes. He used that ability to convince others to take conservation seriously; the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation will carry his flame - but his infectious enthusiasm for studying the animals in the wild will be sorely missed. When I think about Christophe, I remember his very particular and enchanting voice. I hope that sound will stay with me forever. My deepest condolences to his family, and all the many human and nonhuman primate friends.

Susan Hachgenei, am 01. Februar 2024 um 15:21 Uhr

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Bei meinem ersten Besuch in Leipzig Anfang 1999 war Christophe der erste Geschäftsführende Direktor des Instituts, das damals noch im Reclam-Haus untergebracht war. Der Aufbau dieses wunderbaren Instituts war ein Abenteuer. Christophe, in seiner ruhigen, beharrlichen und unkonventionellen Art, hatte daran seinen wichtigen Anteil. Damit und in seiner Rolle als unermüdlicher Fürsprecher der Menschenaffen wird er mir und vielen Kolleg*innen in der Münchner Generalverwaltung in Erinnerung bleiben.
Merci, Christophe!

Ban Simone, am 01. Februar 2024 um 15:14 Uhr

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Prof. Christophe Boesch, when you first heard that there was a black female student who wanted to study the chimpanzees of Taï, you couldn't believe it, but you gave me a chance. Fate decided that my first encounter with the chimpanzees would be with you, to give me my first lesson on how to navigate the forest with a compass and a few rules to follow...

Things went well, and you wanted to continue the adventure with me all the way to the PhD. By your side, I learned a lot and became stronger, more confident, and mature in my work. I enjoyed working with you. You are a role model who inspires me, I will always remember you; your name evokes respect, rigor, relevance, simplicity, intelligence…

Christophe, we will miss you a lot... Your departure is already being felt…

Thank you for everything. You can leave in peace, knowing that you have left a mark on me and on each of your students and collaborators to continue your commitment to the protection of chimpanzees and nature in general.

Thank you for everything, and rest in peace the great warrior.

JoJo Head, am 01. Februar 2024 um 13:28 Uhr

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I don't know where to begin with this tribute, but reading back through journals and letters confirmed to me that "Leipzig" Christophe and "Forest" Christophe were two quite different characters. My written recollections of "Leipzig" Christophe during my first interview for the job of setting up Loango Ape Project in Gabon back in 2005, was of "an imposing character with thick messy silver hair, a very impressive moustache and a deep Swiss-French accent; with twinkling eyes that peered at me shrewdly over the top of his spectacles. He was intimidating and asked me challenging questions, which I didn't do a very good job of answering, such were my nerves in his presence". I was so lucky to somehow be selected for the field role in Loango when just 22 years old, and the night before I was due to leave the UK to travel to Gabon I received a one line email from Christophe, the first I had heard from him since the interview. The message was brief but it has stuck with me because it was both classically enigmatic and as it turned out rather prophetic: “Tomorrow we fly to Gabon, and then onwards to Loango. That, is the start of a great adventure!”
I ended up spending 7 years working with Christophe on the Loango Ape Project - with memories, adventures and experiences too numerous to recount, but suffice to say it is and probably will always be the most extraordinary time of my life, and Christophe was a very large part of that adventure.
Once in Gabon it quickly became clear to me that "Forest Christophe" had a young and adventurous spirit that was not evident during my interview, and I quickly learned that not even the craziest or most hare-brained ideas were off limits with him.  During that first month we spent together exploring the forests of Loango, looking for a good location to set up a research camp, he was sometimes like a naughty schoolboy, hating the mundanity of planning and logistics and just wanting to run about in the forest exploring. His excitement, enthusiasm, magnetism and curiousity were so infectious, and I learned so much from him over many years spent exploring those forests together. I learned about chimpanzees, about humanity, about always having an open mind and always looking for smallest details, and about how to smell a fresh chimpanzee nest from 100m away!
More recently I worked with Christophe as part of the Moyen Bafing National Park chimpanzee monitoring programme, and it was a delight to reconnect with him after so many years, his character unchanged, just with a whiter head of hair and still impressive moustache. The untimely loss of Christophe has hit me harder than I could have predicted, my heart aches for Hedwige, for his children and grandchildren, for his WCF and PanAf family and for everyone who knew him. I feel so lucky to have known Christophe, and to have always got the best most playful version of him, where he was happiest, in the forest searching for chimpanzees.

Barbara Fruth, am 01. Februar 2024 um 09:18 Uhr

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Chère Hedwige,
A toi, à tes enfants et aux enfants de tes enfants, je voudrais présenter mes sincères condoléances pour le décès soudain et bien trop précoce de Christophe. Cela fait bien 35 ans que nous nous sommes rencontrés pour la toute première fois et je suis reconnaissante pour les bons moments que nous avons passés. L'engagement infatigable de Christophe pour sauver les chimpanzés sauvages en liberté, pour préserver leur espace vital, est exemplaire et se poursuivra bien au-delà de sa mort.
Avec toute ma sympathie,

Daniel Hanus, am 01. Februar 2024 um 08:23 Uhr

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You taught us that alpha males can be much more gentle and big-hearted than previously thought - in chimpanzees and humans. Thank you for that!

Prof. Dr. Jörg Junhold, am 31. Januar 2024 um 09:59 Uhr

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Aufrichtige Anteilnahme

Liebe Hedwige,
liebe Familie und Angehörige,

im Namen aller Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter des Zoo Leipzig übermittle ich Dir und Deiner Familie unsere aufrichtige Anteilnahme zum Tod Deines Mannes Christophe Boesch. Der Moment des Abschieds von einem geliebten Menschen, ist der Moment im Leben, in dem die Welt still zu stehen scheint. Unsere Gedanken sind bei Dir und Deiner Familie.

Dein Mann war mit seiner Arbeit im Bereich der Verhaltensforschung mit Menschenaffen einzigartig. Er hat mich, sowie viele andere Kolleginnen und Kollegen in der Zoo Welt mit seinem Wissen und seiner Forschung tief beeindruckt. Mit der Gründung des Max-Planck-Instituts in Leipzig wurden in der Zusammenarbeit zwischen einer wissenschaftlichen Einrichtung und einem Zoo ganz neue Wege begründet, die bis heute und auch in Zukunft gemeinsam beschritten werden.
Aber auch als Mensch habe ich Christophe sehr geschätzt. Unvergessen bleibt für mich unsere gemeinsame Exkursion in den Taϊ Nationalpark im Jahr 2007. Der Wald, die Schimpansen, die einheimischen Menschen und das tiefe, innige Verhältnis von Christophe dazu, haben mich tief bewegt. Unsere gemeinsamen Gespräche werde ich für immer in guter Erinnerung bewahren.

Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie viel Kraft und Zuversicht in dieser schweren Zeit.

In tiefem Mitgefühl

Prof. Dr. Jörg Junhold
im Namen aller Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter des Zoo Leipzig

Tetsuro Matsuzawa, am 31. Januar 2024 um 09:20 Uhr

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Condolences to his wife Hedwige, family, friends, colleagues, and students on the death of Professor Christophe Boesch. I first met him at the International Primatological Congress in Göttingen in 1986. He was a postdoc of Professor Hans Kummer at the University of Zürich. We were walking and talking side by side, just the two of us, and I remember him saying that he would like to return to the Taï forest as quickly as possible after the Congress. Since then, we met each other many times in different parts of the world. In addition to his efforts in the research and conservation of wild chimpanzees, Christophe was also active in speaking out about the welfare of captive chimpanzees. There is an affidavit signed by him dated 10 November 2023. That was the last moment of our ways crossing. He was a person with passion, perspective, and a pure heart. I will keep remembering his smile. It tells me "Rejoice always".

Bernard Comrie, am 30. Januar 2024 um 19:37 Uhr

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Thank you, Christophe, for showing me that in order to understand humans I must also understand our closest relatives.
Thank you, Christophe, for showing me that compassion to my fellow humans must be matched by compassion to our closest kin.
Thank you, Christophe, for making me a better scientist, and a better human being.

Mike Tomasello, am 30. Januar 2024 um 17:59 Uhr

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I will always remember with great fondness when the five of us got together and decided that we would accept the max plank invitation to form an institute. And I will always remember with fondness Christophe's generosity and hosting us at his field site in Ivory Coast. He will be sorely missed.

Fernando Colchero, am 30. Januar 2024 um 15:44 Uhr

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The passing of Prof. Bosch is an irreplaceable loss for primatology and science in general. My warmest condolences to Prof. Bosch's family.

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