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Chimpanzee at Taronga Zoo

Taronga’s Chimpanzee community can trace its history back through eight decades.

In 1947, when Australia’s entire population was equal to the current NSW population, the first of the Chimpanzees in our family tree was born.

Learn about the members of the Chimpanzee group below, including insights on each on Taronga's Chimps from their keepers, from the current alpha male Lubutu to the youngest members of the group - Sule and Sembe. 

Click on the image gallery below to find out what makes Taronga’s Chimpanzee Community so unique and precious


Lubutu ss

Lubutu - alpha male (date of birth 05.06.93)

Has a close rapport with a few favourite staff. Good natured and excitable. Quick to show fear in response to unusual circumstances. Shows great tolerance of and interacts well with infants. Lubutu is the alpha male of the group. 


Shabani ss

Shabani - beta male (date of birth 14.09.94)

Shabani has begun to support his younger brother Samaki when in conflict with females, but still very cautious to instigate conflict with Lubutu, however will redirect aggression to females.


Lulu ss

Lulu (date of birth 1952)

High social status is hampered by lack of mobility (due left arm) so can be a target for harassment. The most people-orientated of the adults, she can be affectionate with favourite staff. Lulu definitely has mood swings, but is mellowing.


Lisa ss

Lisa (date of birth 23.08.79)

Powerful and confident in herself. Rarely starts altercations, but quick to come to the aid of her son Lubutu or daughter Lani, and then happy to see altercation through to the end.


Spitter ss

Spitter (date of birth 01.06.60)

Excellent maternal behaviour and very family-focused. Once an active political player, she suffered due to intimidation of her grandson, Sandali. Sometimes spits accurately at keepers if frustrated!


Sasha ss

Sasha (date of Birth 11.06.80)

Nervous and fearful when the subject of male dominance and suffers from campaigns of intimidation from Lubutu. As a result, Sasha is a target for the younger males and often becomes hysterical in response. Stays close to mother Spitter for protection.


Shiba ss

Shiba (date of Birth 22.05.81)

Independent and tough. On the outside of the main political power, but respected due to her strength of character. Rarely seeks out the company of her family. Very attentive to Sembi and comes to her aid immediately by putting herself in harms way.

Koko ss

Koko (date of birth 06.05.79)

Outside the political power, but always seeking advancement and ways to dominate others. Often starts altercations for this reason. Generally intolerant of the infants. Often bites off more than she can chew then desperately solicits help. Very supportive of daughter Kamili.


Kuma ss

Kuma (date of birth 06.12.91)

Adventurous, clever and confident in her abilities. Kuma had a difficult time raising her son Furahi due to lack of family support. Her rivals for social status are Koko and Kamili and most of the conflicts Kuma is involved in concern these two. She is very supportive of her son Furahi, leading him away if conflict arises.


Kamili ss

Kamili (date of birth 02.09.95)

Clever and ambitious, shows real political nous. While generally intolerant of the infants, protects and interacts with Shikamoo. She is a trouble-maker and starts most of the conflicts that her mother eventually pays for.


Shona ss

Shona (date of birth 09.10.87)

Lowest ranking adult. Avoids altercations and spends a lot of time alone. Occasionally receives family support from Shiba. Took on the role of surrogate for Chimbuka after Chiki died. Shona has a good relationship with Lubutu, but is often targeted by younger males.


Samaki ss

Samaki (date of birth 27.11.01)

Very confident with his size when confronting females, however not confident against males. Appears to be playing both sides, supporting Lubutu and instigating play, while still supporting his family when needed.


Lani ss

Lani (date of birth 26.05.02)

Only female infant. Confident individual and enjoys high status due to family. A bit aloof from the other juveniles.


Furahi ss

Furahi (date of birth 28.02.03)

Beginning to bulk up and starting to push boundaries, harassing females and on occassion joining in when males are displaying, usually targeting Shona or Sacha. He has a close bond with his mother. Still quite playful with babies and Lubutu


Shikamoo ss

Shikamoo (date of birth 25.07.03)

Inquisitive and mischievious. Beginning to bulk up and is starting to push boundaries, harassing females and has on occassion joined in when males are displaying. Still quite playful and enjoys wrestling with Sule.


Sembe ss

Sembe (date of birth 27.02.08)

Very family orientated chimp, often stays close to mum. Shows the same strong personality characteristics represented by her family. Often seen interacting with Sule in a dominating manner.


Sule ss

Sule (date of Birth 04.04.08)

Good natured, very playful and is often the first to provide comfort and reconciliation to others in the group. Sule likes interacting with keepers and getting involved when males are displaying, often seen displaying himself. Enjoys his own company. He is the best looking chimp baby we have ever had in the group! 

Holiday activities

Holiday activities
These school holidays Taronga offers something for the whole family. Come face to face with our loveable lemur troop in an exciting new walk-through experience – now part of the Lemur Forest Adventure.