Last week was a fairly quiet week in social terms within our community. This is most likely down to the weather. It has not been the most pleasant and Chimpanzees, just like humans, tend to hunker down and ride out the more miserable conditions.
There have been fantastic developments (for us keepers) within the male politics of Taronga’s Chimpanzee community. This week we saw an apparent reconciliation between Lubutu and Chimbuka. Both males were engaged in intense mutual grooming.
Planning for the move is continuing at an increasingly frantic pace. Plans for which groups will move house together and in what order are pretty much finalised in our minds. What the Chimps think about all this we will see later on!
Our two Orang-utans have moved out. In a big step in the renovation of the Chimpanzee exhibit, they’ve gone to their new off-exhibit home so work modifying the side of the Orang House can go at full speed.
My name is Allan and I am a Senior Keeper working in the Primate section here at Taronga Zoo. Even with all the amazing things that I have seen, I can honestly say that the continuing highlight of my career has been caring for the Chimpanzee community here at Taronga Zoo. Most people know that Taronga has Chimpanzees but few realise just how special our group is. And it's not just numbers, although having 19 Chimpanzees is something that many Zoos would aspire to. It’s the fact that Taronga’s Chimpanzees live as close as it is possible to the way Chimpanzees live in the wild, in a large, complex community. I often think that our Chimpanzees could make one of the best-ever soap operas!