Motambo the Miracle: An Update

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 10:51pm
Motambo with Makassi  and La Vieille

Motambo is adjusting nicely to his new life at Tchimpounga.  He has fully recovered from his tetanus infection, and his significant wounds have healed.  A few small marks on his skin are the only reminders of the terrible trauma he suffered at the hands of poachers.

After Motambo’s recovery and the completion of his quarantine period, Tchimpounga staff began integrating Motambo into the small group consisting of La Vieille, a 50-year-old female, and several other young chimpanzees. 
Thanks to Motambo’s maturity and his friendly demeanor, his integration progressed without incident.  Upon his arrival, his new pal Mbebo aggressively welcomed Motambo, pushing him and striking him repeatedly.  Motambo defended himself with courage and determination, and, eventually, Mbebo accepted Motambo.  From the moment Motambo joined the new group, Alex, another of the youngsters, demonstrated a great deal of affection for Motambo, hugging him and shadowing his every move.
When Motambo approached La Vieille for the first time, he cautiously sniffed her.  La Vieille looked Motambo up and down with great curiosity, gently placing her huge hand on his head.  It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.  Motambo now prefers to spend his days lying in the shade with La Vieille while his companions Alex, Mbebo and D’Joni play.  When lunch arrives, the two friends eat side by side.  When they finish, they retire to a shady spot in the enclosure to take a nap.
Motambo’s first integration at Tchimpounga is critical.  His recovery from his wounds and tetanus, a terrible and painful disease, took several weeks.  A fracture of his arm also needed several months to heal.  Now it is extremely important for Motambo to resocialize with other chimpanzees who can provide him the psychological support he needs.  Once he completes his first integration, he will move to the larger, more mature community of chimpanzees on one of the islands in the Kouilou River.  This will allow him to live his life in the most natural environment possible.
Meanwhile, Motambo spends his days playing and having fun with his new friends and his adopted mother, La Vieille.

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