Termite Fishing at Gombe

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 1:43pm

It is the beginning of the termite fishing season at Gombe National Park.  During this season, chimpanzees spend a considerable amount of time searching and extracting termites from mounds.  Termites are small, nutritious insects.  However, due to the insect’s small size, termite fishing requires patience and hard work.


One day, Gremlin and her daughters, Golden and Glitter, were busy termite fishing much like other chimpanzee families.  Golden reached for a thin twig of budyankende and modified the twig by removing its leaves.  She then poked the twig into a termite mound.  The termite fishing seemed to be very rewarding.  Both Golden and Gremlin caught numerous insects with each poke.


While the termite fishing was taking place, Golden and Glitter’s babies were busy feeding.  The babies are currently being cared for by their grandmother.  Both infants appeared happy and healthy.


After about an hour or so of termite fishing, Freud, Fudge and Fundi approached the G-family from a distance.  Freud displayed and, as a result, Gremlin and Golden stopped termite fishing.  They ran to Freud, signaling the end of the day’s termite fishing session.


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