By Jenny Desmond
Chimpanzees eat a lot!
147 chimpanzees eat more than 1,250 pounds of food each day! Every day, Tchimpounga’s residents require 1,110 pounds of fruits and vegetables, 80 pounds of soya, 55 pounds of rice, 7 pounds of powdered milk, and at least one can of baby formula and cereal.
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.
Mambou arrived at Tchimpounga emaciated, malnourished and with no strength to move. Thanks to the care of the staff at Tchimpounga, healthy Mambou now plays for hours with his friends.
Latin Name: Vitex fischeri
Local Name: Mpapa
Mpapa trees grow in the valleys and lower slopes of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. The trees are tall, up to 70 feet high, and typically possess one straight trunk. The fruiting season usually takes place between late March and the end of April. During a good year, mpapa is one of the most important chimpanzee foods.
An example of tool use, chimpanzees use rocks and sticks as weapons to intimidate and fend off others.