Thursday, November 30, 2006

Reunion, Rejoicing, Relief

Darrell, Sarah, Sheba, Keeli, Ivy, Harper and Emma are together again!

(The picture here, taken by Chimp Haven behaviorist Amy Fultz, shows Darrell being touched by Harper and groomed by Sheba. To see more pictures, click here.)

Chimpanzees, like humans, are highly social beings. This aspect of chimpanzee life was the first thing commented upon by the people who originally studied chimps in captivity and in the wild. Providing healthy social environments for captive chimpanzees is critically important for their well-being. They provide each other with support, with stimulation, they learn from each other, and together they can exhibit species-typical behaviors, they can be chimpanzees.

But introducing chimpanzees to one another or re-introducing them after they have been separated is a very complex and often dangerous process. This is particularly so if they experienced additional trauma and distress while separated or isolated, as the former OSU chimps did while at PPI. That the newly dubbed “magnificent seven” were re-introduced without incident and with great playfulness is a tribute to the expertise of the Chimp Haven staff.


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