Tuesday, February 16, 2016
It's been a long time since we last posted here, and a lot has happened at Fongoli. The community is doing well and is up to 33 individuals. There are a number of new infants, and we expect Natasha to give birth soon. She is currently traveling alone with her brother (Diouf, shown in the photo above, taken by Fongoli Project Manager Dondo Kante) and her older infant, Pistache (who received his name via a Leakey Foundation donor/auction, and we think Louis Leakey would probably like this chimp a lot!).
In other news, we published an update (We're actually over 350 cases now!) on the tool-assisted or "spear" hunting behavior exhibited by the Fongoli chimps last year in the journal, Royal Society Open Science. We confirmed our earlier findings that females hunt in this manner significantly more than males, although there is no sex difference in hunting success.
The article is free and here is the link:
Orphan Toto is still under our care (Janis Carter and the Foundation for West African Chimpanzees and Friends of Animals and our own Neighbor Ape organization). We are hoping to place him soon with other chimpanzees and in anticipation of this, we have started a fundraiser to help build facilities for the sanctuary he will (hopefully!) be going to.
This link provides some information about this:
The BBC is currently filming at Fongoli, and another BBC documentary is in the works based on filming conducted a couple of years ago, so you will be able to see the chimps again in a couple of new documentaries. Look for some really interesting behaviors - of course! Stay tuned for updates, and I'll try to be better about keeping up with this blog!