Whenever we accept a new chimpanzee at Tacugama we observe a minimum quarantine period of three months. Very often rescued chimps have spent some time living with people and so are exposed to additional disease risks; it’s essential for the health of the almost 100 chimpanzees at the sanctuary that we ensure newcomers don’t introduce illnesses to our existing residents. Chimps are very social and it’s tough having to impose the quarantine period. We always look forward to when we can finally start to integrate a newcomer to their new “family”. The start of 2012 has seen us introducing Bingo to Chippie’s young group of 7 infants under the age of 5.
Generally the younger the chimp, the easier it is to introduce them into their new group but we still have to take time to make sure that the first meetings go well. Bingo’s been staying in a cage close to his new playmates and spent a few days meeting them through the protection of a gate while we observed who was making the best efforts to make friends with who. Finally Chippie, Benita and Tompey seemed to be the best candidates for the initial introductions so last week they had the first opportunity to play together and we’re very happy to say that it went really well as these fun photos show!
The next stage is for Bingo to meet up with the rest of the group – Samson, Delila, Kangari and Eglo and he’ll then move out with them into their small enclosure for hopefully a much happier 2012!