Curiosities - Information
The world of Luke
It is Saturday, 7am. Luke goes around three times, running through the seven thousand square meters of his enclosure. He will repeat this along the day, and will also control every human who walk near them and enter the two gates of the sanctuary, which they see from his strategic position.
All this movement avoids him to be bored of his lonely life in captivity at the sanctuary. Luke is in very good shape. He is the eldest brother of Guga, founder of the sanctuary, and Johnny, founder of GAP Sanctuary of Paraná. The three of them were born at Goiânia zoo. Luke started his exploitation life very early, because he had been sold to a circus when he was still a new born baby.
In the circus, the keeper used to carry him on the boot everywhere, which motivated him to have a fetish for plastic boots. When he arrived at the sanctuary, when he was not 12 years old yet, he had this compulsion for masturbating every time someone got near him with a new boot. That compulsion, repeated from 10 to 20 times a day, was very bad, because he suffered with lack of proteins.
After more than eight years with us, he was able to overcome the compulsion, but there are times he has a setback. Luke is not very interested in chimpanzees. Ha had already live with Carol, but had no intimacy with her, who ended up with Alex, who is in love with her.
Luke has very good relationship with humans in whom he trusts and has already been a very good host for journalists, especially blond women, who he loves.
I enter at Luke’s enclosure all the days I go to the sanctuary, take him a meal and play with him a little bit. He likes fighting plays and is able to control himself, as long as in a real fight a human would not last very much with him, due to his strength and agility.
Luke enjoys every kind of food. But maybe what he likes the most are sausages and soups. He also eats pizza, chicken, hamburger, mayonnaise salad and all kind of new food offered to him. He uses a spoon and the soups, served very hot in bottles, are cooled when he put some in a cool yogurt glass that he had just taken.
Luke has a bedroom beside Lilico’s, who is interested in his friendship. But Luke only plays a little with him and is not interested in a most serious relationship. Luke enjoys a special freedom in the sanctuary that no other chimpanzee has: he lives in an enclosure with no walls, only with an electric fence, which gives him a privileged vision of what is around him.
At bed time, he takes his blanket inside, stretch it out perfectly and lays on it. Years ago he used to lock himself in the bedroom and we had to put a door, so he could close from inside. Today he lives free in his large enclosure, is not afraid anymore and there are times he sleeps outside, when he is very hot.
Luke loves rain. He is one of the few chimpanzees who is not afraid of rain or thunders. We have already seen him running frenetically under heavy rain all over his enclosure.
Luke knows all the employees of the sanctuary and all the cars. When an unknown car passes beside his fence, he welcomes people by throwing rocks, mud or sand. He has already broken cars windows and damaged cars paintings. Once, when construction people entered and passed his fenced, he obliged everyone to get out the car, in order not to be “attacked”.
Luke is playful, caring when he does “grooming” with humans and 100% reliable. But you would not make him your enemy, as long as he can transformed himself in a very aggressive being very quickly.
Luke warns when someone is in the main gate and is not able to enter, or when someone passed the gate and in entering the sanctuary. He prefers to live lonely and independent of the others. Maybe this is his best choice to be happy in his “captivity unhappiness”.
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International