La Vieille and Her "Groupies"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 2:52pm
La Vieille and Her "Groupies"

Alex, Leki, Mbebo, Mambou and Makassi share an enclosure at Tchimpounga with the nearly 50-year-old female chimpanzee, La Vieille. The youngsters are all under four years of age, so they are too young to be completely independent. La Vieille has taken on the role of their adoptive mother and her guidance is very important for the little ones. Likewise, the small chimpanzees are important to La Vieille. They keep her on her toes, ensuring that her mind stays active while she spends the day watching out for them and keeping them in line.

 
From time to time, the five little chimpanzees fight over food. Each one wants the same fruit or bottle, even though they are all the same. The youngsters never seem completely satisfied, even when their bellies are swollen from too much food. When the caregivers give La Vieille a saucepan with a soy milk paste, the small chimps try to join her feast. La Vieille knows she can't feed all of them, so she runs around the enclosure clutching the saucepan. After being chased around the climbing structures for several minutes, La Vieille remembers her role as their adoptive mother and stops and shares a little bit with her babies.
 
For every "Chimpanzee" Blu-ray™ Combo Pack or HD Digital purchase made through August 27, 2012, Disneynature will donate to the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to protect chimpanzees, including those residing at the Tchimpounga sanctuary. Learn more.
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