Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Photo by Lisa Ridley
Fumo unwraps a Christmas enrichment treat

Christmas has come and gone and as we look at how our young chimpanzees are growing, we wonder where the time has gone!

Young Fumo is well over one year old now and it seems like only yesterday that we were marvelling at his birth and watching Kuma rediscover her maternal instincts.

Just as wonderful has been the rapid growth in physical and social stature of our youngest infants, Sudi and Liwali.

Experienced mums Shiba and Lisa have taken to motherhood just as we had expected, putting into practice the mothering skills learnt from their own mothers and from each other.

This Christmas, as we do every year, we treated the chimpanzee group to a special array of festive-themed enrichment treats and toys.

These included paper mache bon bons with treats inside, such as peanuts, pieces of banana and sultanas. They also enjoyed some gift-wrapped boxes, which they opened enthusiastically, and found coconut pieces inside hidden in shredded paper.

 Strawberry jam smears on rocks and logs, frozen muesli balls with seeds, nuts and honey, as well as grapes scattered around the exhibit, all made for an exciting and enriching Christmas, as each chimpanzee found a present to open.

Christmas is a special time. A time when friends and family come together and enjoy each other’s company, and within our chimpanzee community here at Taronga, it is no different.

Family members took their newly-found gifts to show each other, and, like young children, some were a little reluctant to share with others, resulting in several tantrums which were quickly extinguished by the ever-watchful mothers.

We love this time of year at Taronga Zoo and we really enjoy making it a special time for our animals as well!


Chimpanzee numbers are falling drastically in the wild.

Deforestation, the pet and bushmeat trades, and poaching are all factors which contribute to this decline.

The killing of adult females and the resultant orphaning of their infants is putting enormous pressure on already established primate sanctuaries scattered throughout Africa’s western equatorial rainforests.

This has to stop!

- Primate keeper, Simon Hersee

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