Monday, May 23, 2011

Fongoli update!

The first rains at Fongoli brought out a couple of tool-assisted "spearing" hunting bouts! The first of the season - by adult female Tumbo and juvenile female Fanta (although the latter was only seen making a tool, which was then retrieved, so we can't add a score to Fanta's tally!). No success but exciting nonetheless!

Fongoli chimps seem to be doing well. Natasha had an infant last month - probably a male although we still need to double check on that when we can get a good look. She is quite protective still and holds the baby very close. Farafa's female infant, Vivienne, who was born in October of 2010, is spending time away from Mom - not too far yet, though. The chimps were in a group of 28 yesterday, which includes everyone except Nickel, Teva and Dawson, who have been seen fairly recently though.

A small gold mine has erupted within the Fongoli chimps' home range, but it may subside as did one that appeared several years ago. These are mines dug by local people, which consist of a series of small but deep holes. They are much less problematic for chimps compared to the large-scale, corporate mines that will be increasing in southeastern Senegal...

Still hot here - usually over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Both humans and chimps looking forward to the rains really starting!

Photo of Tumbo and her infant Cy, who apparently loves to ride "jockey style" by Dr. Maja Gaspersic, May 2011.