Great Story of New Friends
Makasi, Laki and Mbebo are the last chimpanzees that arrived at Tchimpounga after being seized by the Congolese Ministry of Water and Forests. The three chimps stay together day after day playing carelessly beside their guardian Godelin. This is an image and story that usually repeats itself in Tchimpounga. However, some weeks ago something surprising happened; the Center of Tchimpounga director’s dog, a young German shepherd, some five months old, guided by curiosity approached this group of chimps for the first time. Normally chimps at this age are fearful of any new things that appear in their environment, but on this occasion Makasi took the initiative of lunging herself on Lobo and started playing with him. Lobo reacted immediately and started pursuing and rolling on the ground with Makasi, while Leki and Mbebo shyly observed them. Makasi grabbed Lobo by the neck and made him fall on his side meanwhile Lobo moved his legs trying to defend himself. This was the first day of a great friendship. Since that day we are all used to see Makasi and Lobo’s persecutions in the bushes of the Tchimpounga garden.
Tchimpounga’s Natural Reserve is the smallest protected zone of Congo. The great biodiversity that hides within its forests including the large number of chimpanzee’s communities has promoted the idea of extending the limits of this Reserve. In the next weeks an agreement with the Congolese Government will be closed so that the new area includes zones of forests and marshes rich in flora and fauna. When these limits are finalized the new area of the Reserve will be of approximately 55.260 acres. This will be a great advance in the protection of chimps and their ecosystems.
Kudia, Kauka and Luc
These last weeks have not been easy for the chimps of Group 4 where Kudia, Kauka and Luc live. Like every day, the caretakers of the group opened the exterior installation gate and all the chimps Kudia included went out excited and happy to spend their day in a nearby forest. They all walked a long distance through the savannah before reaching the forest. Adolphe and Brice were the caretakers that accompanied this group. Kudia, like usual, was not the first in line or the last, she prefers walking in the middle of the group protected by her peers.
Reaching the edge of the forest Brice observed surprised the figure of a large chimp male emerging. First they thought it was an escapee from the Tchimpounga Centre. This worried him. Adolphe tried to find out who it was but didn’t recognize him. Behind this large male three more appeared, they were heavy set adult males. The chimps from the group started reacting fearfully when the large males approached them. Some chimps from the group ran without direction and hid in the forest, others stayed hugging each other beside the caretakers. Adolphe and Brice started calling the chimps back and tried to return quickly to the Centre. . Kauka couldn’t even run because he was so scared. His hair stood up on end and his small hands were clinging strongly to Brice’s shirt. Kudia was clinging to Brice as well. The adult males were not from the Centre, they were wild chimps that were ambushing the chimps in Group 4. One of the chimps that ran to hide in the forest was Kozanza, who was trapped and killed by these male chimps.
After a huge effort they all arrived to the exterior Installation. Everyone knew that something bad had happened. They haven’t gone out to the woods since then.