Curiosities - Information
The Magic of Mother's Day
Maybe the most terrible story of the miserable life of chimpanzees in the hands of humans is the caught of babies, which occur in Brazil and in the rest of the world, so they can be sold, exchanged or simply raised in other places. Every mother chimpanzee that arrived at the sanctuary in the last 10 years that had suffered with the kidnapping of their babies hid the baby they gave birth in the sanctuary, hiding them as a treasure from the humans presented, so that the caught would not be repeated.
When Samantha was 10 years old and had Sofia with no motherhood experience, we tried for hours that she assumed and took care of the baby. But when there was risk of death for Sofia, painfully we had to take her out of her mother to raise her. Just like we did years ago with other babies who were taken out of their mother due to economic interests.
Sofia completed one year old last April 28. During all these months, practically everyday we showed her to Guga and to her mother, Samantha. In this last year Samantha got pregnant again and in a few days will give birth to her second baby. Samantha was always kind with the smaller chimpanzees and when Carolina arrived at the sanctuary a few years ago, with less than one year old, they stayed together. Samantha as together with Caroline everywhere, but did not touch her. It seemed that Carolina was a crystal that could not be touched, otherwise it could dismantle. Her reaction was the same with Sofia. Samantha stayed more then 10 hours with Sofia, wrapped in fabrics, but did not touch her. She took the “wrap” from one side to the other, especially when Sofia cried.
We concern that Samantha will repeat the same behavior with her second baby. We think that Sofia realized our concern and took a decision in Mother’s Day. Last Sunday she wanted to enter in the sector that gives access to the maternity hall, where Samantha is isolated, and we allowed her to enter. She went straight at the grid of the door and called her mother. We had never had their alone before, without grabbing Sofia and did not know what could happen. But, the magic of this day and the decision of Sofia, who gave her back to her mother, as a sign of confidence (for humans, it is the opposite). Samantha looked at her, Sofia put her hands inside through the grid and the mother examined her nails and arms. We were near and tried to control our anxiety and fear. But this magical day – Mother’s day – united a teenager mother with her abandoned daughter. Together they hug and from now on humans won’t have to separate them.
Dr. Pedro A Ynterian
President, GAP Project International