Curiosities - Information
An united family now
A few weeks ago we did the introduction of Sofia, one and a half-year old baby chimpanzee, with her biologic mother, Samantha. Sofia was raised by humans because her mother was not able to breast feed her. The second phase of the introduction was concluded last Friday, April 1st, when her biological father, Guga, joined them.
For months we took Sofia to Guga, so that he knew and got intimacy with her, but always through the fence. Guga always liked baby and was responsible, in the last ten years, for the care and introduction of other orphan babies in the routine of the sanctuary. Emílio, Carlos, Cláudio, Carolina and Billy were babies that Guga took care of, some when he was also a baby and with whom he has strong friendship bounds, which last until today.
We had already talked to Guga and explained him that he would join Samantha and Sofia, in the new enclosure where they live. This enclosure is connected through an aerial tunnel with Guga`s group original enclosure. He as anxious about the meeting. Firstly we let him enter in the tunnel and put him together with Samantha, whom he hugged after several weeks apart.
After that it was the most delicate part. We put Sofia on the hall so the he could interact with her through the fence, without our interference. Sofia was afraid because Guga is the double size of her mother and, like every dominant male, can be rude sometimes. After more than two hours of contact, when Guga was calm, we took the decision: we let Sofia enter in her father`s enclosure. He followed her, trying the contact and she tried to get off him. But he was able to catch her, touched her with affection and she let him hug her, which gave the start in the integration desired by everyone.
Samantha did not interfere in the contact. She seemed to be confident – more than us – that everything would be ok and that the father would be a wonderful partner for her daughter. This night the three chimpanzees slept and played, especially father and daughter.
Despite the union of his family, Guga was divided as long as, at the other side of the enclosure, his group, with whom he lives for years, was yelling and cheering to everything goes well. Guga wanted to be at both places. And this will happen in the future, because we do not want that Sofia enters in the big group because she is very young yet to defend herself. Apart from that, Samantha is seven-month pregnant and can give birth to the baby any time. Guga will spend some days with his group and others with his family, to fulfill his tasks of father and leader of the group that considers him the mentor.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International