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Fumo clings tightly onto mother Kuma

Fumo clings tightly onto mother Kuma. Photo by Lisa Ridley

Our baby chimp has a name!

We welcome ‘Fumo’ to our chimpanzee community. As the weeks pass, he is growing steadily bigger and stronger and becoming increasingly familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary here at Taronga Zoo.

The name Fumo, which means ‘chief’ or ‘spear’ in Swahili, was chosen by a long-term supporter of Taronga’s chimpanzees.

Fumo continues to cling tightly onto mum Kuma’s belly hair and it will be several more months before she decides it’s time for him to begin riding on her back.

Kuma has been seen several times holding Fumo out by his arms, as if encouraging him to begin using his legs to support himself. At times during the early evening, she will also leave him in a nest of shredded paper while she makes her own nest.

She has also allowed her older son, Furahi, to hold Fumo unassisted, while Kamili and mother Koko have finally been allowed into the close circle of chimps that have the privilege of touching and grooming the baby.

Sembe and Sule are showing a lot of interest, but continue to play quite rough at times.

Sule has been seen climbing all over Kuma in order to get a closer look of the baby and Sembe was seen somersaulting right into Kuma’s lap where Fumo lay quietly. Furahi is never too far away to ensure things don’t get too out of hand.

These first years of Fumo’s life will be spent subconsciously absorbing everything around him and the sound and smell of his mother will be firmly imprinted onto his brain by now.

On behalf of Fumo, the rest of our chimpanzee community, and all of the Primate Crew here at Taronga, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.                                                

See you in 2014!!

Simon, Primate Keeper


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