by Lauren, Public Relations
I would like to take a moment to respond to a comment we received on our last blog.
"We just visited the zoo today and had a great time.We were just wondering, though, what happened to that injured chimp, he looked pretty torn up!"
This is actually a common question with a complicated answer which we recently addressed in our November/December issue of our member magazine, Maazigo.
We need to remember that chimpanzees are wild animals and their behavior is reflective of that. Chimps are very dynamic, social animals. Because of that, wounds between individuals in a group are common. This is especially true when maturing males are coming up in the ranks and are vying for top position. Our 17-yr old male is trying to attain the top male position over our 44 yr old male. Unfortunately, wounds are a part of this natural chimp progression. Any wounds (no matter how small) are constantly monitored by our veterinarian and keeper staff. Although this behavior is normal, we working with the chimpanzee Species Survival Program to add a young male chimp to the dynamic social group. This may help the males establish a dominant top male position.