Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The dry season is pretty brutal this year at Fongoli, with March temperatures being hotter than any month during the past 2 years! It is usually even hotter in April & May, so we will have to see what is in store for Fongoli chimps (and researchers) over the next couple of months, before the rains start.

Young adult male Luthor has officially been added to the roster of adult male subjects, as he is now integrated into the dominance hierarchy. Luthor is already larger than many of the adult males and has yet to "fill out", so his climb up the social ladder will be interesting.

Orphan Aimee has not been seen for a month, along with former alpha male Lupin, whom she was traveling with. We think they are spending time at the Djendji water source, probably along with Lucille and her daughters Sounkaro (about Aimee's age) and Luna, since these are the only individuals that haven't been seen lately with the rest of the 33-member community.

Aimee's younger brother Toto, whom researchers rescued after the death of his mother when no other chimpanzees found him, is doing well. He has been under the care of researchers with the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project initially (Stacy Lindshield, Ulises Villa-Lobos, and Michel Sadiakho) and then with Janis Carter and her team from the West African Chimpanzee Foundation more recently. We are working towards coming up with the best solution of for Toto's future. Our options include returning him to his natal group, introducing him to a sanctuary in Africa or working towards the establishment of a new sanctuary for Toto and other captive chimpanzees in Senegal. We initiated a new project on our Global Giving website for this cause:


We have also initiated a T-shirt campaign to raise money for Toto's care:


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