Project Chimps is growing right before my eyes. With 59 chimpanzees now in residence, all four of our villas are now occupied by groups of males and females!
This intentional arrangement will allow the chimps to be slowly introduced to one another over time.
Our chimpanzee behavior team, led by our Manager of Socialization, Michael Seres, is working to integrate the groups in Cedar Tree Villa and Chimps Ahoy Villa and this past week Cedar Tree became fully integrated! You can read more about that in the feature story below.
The gift of socialization is one we can easily give to the chimps. In fact, it’s the best gift we can give them. Sure, they get lots of yummy foods, special treats, the enrichment toys we receive from you, and of course plenty of choices throughout their day to explore the forest or stay inside and build a nest. But chimpanzees are social creatures and, as such, should be able to engage with members of the opposite sex.
Some of the older chimps had this experience before they were separated into same-sex groups at the lab. The younger ones have no memory of this experience and it’s all new. Every detail of it is new.
Lower-ranking Lance, right, recently met alpha female Latricia in a one-on-one session supervised by Michael Seres, Project Chimps Manager of Chimpanzee Socialization.
The gift we offer the chimps is reassurance, built from trust. It’s the reassurance that we will keep them safe as they meet another new chimp. Some chimps are confident and others are anxious. Some are bold and others are shy. As the introductions proceed, the behavior team identifies what kind of support each chimp needs – and they give it willingly.
We could not provide this level of exemplary care without the support of our volunteers and our donors. Allowing the staff to provide individualized attention to the chimps during intro trials, and to go at the pace the chimps want to go, requires a lot of human resources.
Our 2019 Strategic Plan outlines how we will allocate those resources and achieve our goal of creating a fission-fusion society to the societal structure chimpanzees enjoy in the wild. We look forward to sharing that plan with you in the new year.
This holiday season, I thank YOU for the gift you have given us – your support and devotion to these chimpanzees that have given us so very much. It’s their time to build a community, to make new friends, to create a family. It’s their time to live.
You have given us this opportunity so we can pass it along to them. You have given us time – and that is the greatest gift of all.
When you donate to Project Chimps, you’re not only supporting the chimpanzees’ current care, you’re helping us invest in their futures. We invite you to make a tax-deductible, year-end gift to Project Chimps today.
Our 2019 Project Chimps Wall Calendar makes a great gift and it’s only $17.99. We also have new Project Chimps t-shirts, hats, keychains, decals, pet bandanas, hoodies, tote bags and more!
All proceeds go to the sanctuary to support the care of the chimps so order your holiday giftsfrom Project Chimps today!
Looking for additional gift ideas? Consider these meaningful gifts for friends and family:
Give the gift of a one-year chimpanzee sponsorship for just $23/month and your gift recipient will receive a personalized certificate, beautiful 5×7 photo of their chimp, and an adorable plush chimp toy – hurry and order yours by Monday, December 17th!
Use Amazon Smile when you shop on Amazon and Project Chimps can receive 0.5% of each purchase! Just sign up and select Project Chimps as your charity.
Give a gift they’ll never forget and help the chimps at the same time!
Cedar Tree Males, Females Outdoors Together!
Project Chimps is working to create a fission-fusion society for former research chimpanzees who are now living in sanctuary. But to recreate the social structure that exists in wild populations of chimpanzees in a captive setting is no easy feat.
It begins by reuniting male and female chimpanzees who were artificially separated into same-sex groups in the lab.
From the Cedar Tree Villa tunnel, Bo (left), Genesis (right) and Buttercup (top) watch Jennifer and their other group mates explore the Peachtree Habitat together for the very first time. Moments later, Buttercup went outdoors too.
Project Chimps Welcomes Student Intern from Germany
Jan Schoepe is a landscape architecture intern visiting from Cologne, Germany.
Jan Schoepe grew up in Cologne, Germany, surrounded by animals. His family had many adopted pets and they frequently visited the Koelner Zoo, where Jan (pronounced “yahn”) always dreamed of going behind the scenes.
Jan, 21, has now had the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes at Project Chimps for the past month as an intern thanks to a collaborative internship with the Seattle-based architecture firm, Zoo Design Inc. Read more on our blog…
HELP THE CAUSE
You can help us or continue to help us provide for all the chimpanzees currently in our care; all it takes is a small donation. Thank you.