Group chimpanzees living at Primadomus
Group chimpanzees living in Primadomus
Chimpanzees are originally found in the forests of Central and West Africa. They live in groups of twenty to sometimes one hundred animals. Chimpanzee eat mostly fruit, but also leaves, nuts and insects such as ants. The males hunt in groups, they prey upon birds, small monkeys and other young mammals.
Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent, they often use tools such as sticks to fish termites out of their nests, and stones to crack nuts. They are six times stronger than an adult human and their DNA is 94.8% the same as humans. Their existence in the wild is greatly endangered through destruction of their habitat, hunters and illegal trade.
The following information describes a group of eight (formerly ten) chimpanzees presently living at AAP Primadomus in Spain. Between 2003 and 2005 the chimpanzees were introduced to each other, then in Almere in Holland, and form a lively and relaxed social group. The animals often play, but they also spend lots of time just lazing around and grooming each other to remove fleas. Arguments and their resolutions also form a part of the daily routine.
As an established and trusted group will they be able to enjoy the rest and space in Primadomus they greatly deserve.
Having performed tricks in a circus for six long years, Achille became unmanageable. His canine teeth had been sawn off to make training safer but it had not helped. Achille was reaching puberty and wanted to been seen as the boss, which is normal healthy behaviour for a young adult male. The circus did not appreciate his behaviour so he was locked up in a small steel cage in a dark circus wagon. Achille was shut in that dark cage for almost thirty years before in May of 2000 the story reached AAP. Eventually after long negotiation with the circus, AAP was allowed to go into the trailer where Achille was being held in a cage which did not even have a door. The cage had to been taken apart before this frighten chimpanzee could be rescued..
Anna and her then one year old son, Patrick, were part of a collection of exotic animals owned by a French Duchess. They live in a spacious but empty enclosure on the estate of this eccentric lady. Lions, bears and tigers also formed part of the collection. Upon her death her son wanted to get rid of the animals as quickly as possible and Patricks future looked sombre, he was going to be sold to a circus or laboratory, without his mother. In 2000, with the help of the French animal protection society, the chimpanzee family which then included father James, was brought to AAP in Almere in the nick of time. Unfortunately James died during a routine check up. Anna is a social animal and is a good friend to the other chimpanzees, this means that she can always call on their help when needed. However Anna and Achille always seem to have a difference of opinion which ends in a screaming match. She likes being groomed and enjoys her well deserved peace and quiet, because now she lives in a social group she doesnt have to care for Patrick alone anymore. Anna has a high position in the social scale of the group, she is wise and knows how to achieve her desired result. She is still always ready to defend and care for Patrick. Anna is a bit lazy, she loves her food but will rather wait until one of the other chimpanzees has puzzled out how to get the peanuts then she will eat them whilst the other has done all the work!
Patrick was very young when he first came to AAP, but he is now a healthy adolescent and knows how to bring some life into the party. Although he gets enough enrichment he prefers to spend his time pestering the other chimpanzees (which is actually the ideal amusement for a young chimpanzee). He also challenges the carers and tries to get the other chimpanzees to join in. He doesn't spend so much time with his mother now but he doesnt like being parted from her either, so every now and then they take the time to strengthen their family ties. Since the demise of group leader Donkey in 2010, Patrick has been the alpha male.
Babsie was born in a German circus. Basie and her one year younger sister, Peggy, formed part of a group of five females who had previously performed for the public. When their owner died and his wife could no longer care for the animals all the adults were put to sleep, including the parents of Basie and Peggy. Stichting AAP quickly created a refuge for this desperate situation and Babsie and Peggy arrived in 2002. Babsie is the cheekiest of the two and is quite daring. At first she was only social with her younger sister and is she didnt get her own way she would take it out on the others. She would often steal food and nesting much to the amazement of the other chimpanzees. Fortunately she in now much more aware of the social structure of the group, she is calmer and prefers to care for others first instead of starting an argument. Babsie likes to play with Patrick, and of course her sister, she also loves to be groomed by Achille.
Peggys story begins the same as Babsie, born in a German circus, she came to AAP in 2002. Peggy is well integrated in the group and is fairly self assured. Unlike her sister she will always try to avoid a conflict. Peggy is the most technical of the group, she is very handy and can puzzle out difficult games (usually with food) which are intended to keep the animals amused. Peggy uses twigs as tools and is sometimes busy for hours with the puzzles and games such as food in boxes, which the cares make for the chimpanzees. She always watches with great interest when the cares are putting one of these boxes together, then she studies each corner and screw to find out how it works, the reward being the food. Peggy and her sister groom each other regularly, and she plays mostly with Patrick, Babsie and Achille.
Bob (who died in 2011) and Wilma were saved just in time from a glorified German childrens zoo. They were then both twelve years old. Before they came to the zoo they were an attraction in a circus. They were being kept in a 3 x 3 cage without the possibility of going outside and because of this they both developed lung problems due to the lack of fresh air. The zoo had received a deadline from the German authorities and if things were not arranged on time the chimps would be put to sleep. Eventually due to their desperate state of neglect they were seized by the authorities and AAP was able to give them asylum.
A Belgium lady with a large estate had two pet baby chimpanzees and called them Antoine and Prudence. The chimpanzees were treated as children, dressed in clothes and given bikes to ride to amuse paying guests. Of course this was all over when they chimpanzees grew up, their adult behaviour was not understood and they were locked up in a cellar and called aggressive. When Antoine started to get sexually interested in Prudence, a wall with an iron grill at the top was built to split them up. Antoine learned to walk by standing up straight because it was the only way that he could see his female playmate. These intelligent animals spent years without daylight or toys sitting in their own excrement. No one dared get close to them or to clean out the cellar. The animals were give food and bottles of water through a hatch in exchange for their excrement. This went on for six years, and because of the trauma Antoine is not able to function in a group and will therefore always stay in Almere.
For an adult female, Sita is very small. She came from a zoo in Belgium and her lack of growth is probably due to bad diet and an inadequate enclosure. Because of this her legs are malformed. In 1995 the Belgium animals rights group Gaia came into action and AAP was asked to help. On arrival in Almere it was discovered that the area between her buckled legs and stomach was severely ulcerated. Sita was treated for her wounds and paralysis, but she will never be able to stretch her legs. Sita has now developed good strong arms to be able to get about.