Blog: Linda 1 year at AAP (with video!)
This month it's already a year ago I got on the plane to free Linda chimpanzee from inside the small, bare shed on Lanzarote. It was an eventful year and not in the least for Linda herself, whom ended up in a completely new world.
In recent years we at AAP have seen many chimpanzees come and go. You try to estimate what the adaptability of an animal is, but it is still unpredictable how an animal will develop. During the quarantine period, it became clear that Linda had quite a lot of adjustment issues. For example, if she felt insecure Linda spinned pirouettes - probably a trick which she learned and performed when she was not sure what was expected of her.
Even when the quarantine period was over, and Linda was allowed to go outside for the first time, we saw the mental scars of the long confinement. Instead of enjoying the outdoors for the first time in almost thirty years, she was sitting inside, shaking like a leaf. She screamed and screamed when the hatch was opened. It went to the bone! But at the end of this rather bleak day she stuck her head through the hatch and walked cautiously toward me. Uncertain, but she overcame her fear.
Linda is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus and will probably always have to stay with us. At AAP we have more chimpanzees who carry this virus and little by little we introduced Linda to this group. Linda didn't seem insecure at all this time, and walked up to leader Julio without hesitation, grabbed his hand and he responded with a warm embrace. Indescribable how a moment later she played tag with Julio like they'd never done anything else.
And Linda is very well. Because Linda didn't see any congeners in such a long time, she doesn't know anything about chimpanzee social skills and sometimes makes a misstep. She inadvertently made much of an impression in the beginning. Linda always walked upright; which was what she had seen in her limited environment. Chimpanzees, however, see that as a sign of dominance. Linda was oblivious! But fortunately Julio is a patient leader and he showed her how she should behave. And she has really found a pal in old Jim. They like to play a game together or groom one another in the summer sun. The other two ladies in the group are sometimes a bit snappier, altough from time to time they like to chase leader Julio through the residence.
I would like to sincerely thank everyone for all the support and sympathy last year. Thanks to you, Linda will still a get a nice retirement, along with her peers.
David van Gennep
Director Foundation AAP
Ps: Do you want to give Linda something extra for her anniversary? Look here
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