Tchimpounga Nursery Overflowing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 5:44pm

Over the past six months, Tchimpounga has received six more orphaned infants.  As a result, each caregiver is taking care of three or more chimpanzees, which is overwhelming to say the least.

Lemba, a young chimpanzee whose legs are paralyzed from polio, acts as the adoptive mother.  Unlike the caregivers who have 24-hour responsibilities, Lemba’s duties only require that she play with the babies and keep an eye on them during the day. 

Antonio, who arrived in January, and Anzac, who arrived in April, joined Lemba’s group and are integrating nicely.  The two younger infants, Zola and JeJe,  are just starting to spend some time outside each day along with the rest of the group, but only under the careful supervision of their surrogate mothers.

Chantal, one of our most senior and seasoned chimp “mums,” is in charge of the younger infants.  Her experience and patience are critical to ensuring that these infants adjust and become secure and content, so they can grow up to be normal chimpanzees.



JGI does not endorse handling or interfering with wild chimpanzees.  The chimpanzees interacting with a caregiver in this image are orphaned and live at the Tchimpounga sanctuary.


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