Azania is a very independent middle child- which is good because her mother, Lia, is far too busy trying to keep track of her rambunctious two-year-old sister to worry about Azania. And Likizo- well, he’s mostly grown-up now and he can’t be bothered playing with a pesky little sister. Too be fair, Azania is often too distracted by delicious figs to notice that mom or Likizo is wandering off again. Growing up is hungry business!
Thatcher has been my favorite chimp since I first met her three year ago. Named after the famous Margaret, she’s just as strong-willed and courageous. Thatcher was one of the youngest, most well-habituated infants when I started my dissertation pilot here at Kanyawara in 2013. Normally, when you follow infants, you can keep your focal in eye shot by keeping an eye on his or her much bigger and easier-to-track mother. Not with this one. Even at 18 months she was the most likely to be spotted 30m from her mother like it wasn’t a big deal. Now she’s four years old. Not only is she still so confident and spunky (she clearly takes after her mother, Tongo), but she’s also growing into one of the most beautiful young chimps in the community!
Basuta has such a unique face. His mother the is oldest lady in the community- but don't let that trick into thinking that hanging out with her is easy. I've gone on more chimp sprints after her than anyone else! Like other males his age, Basuta is so playful! In the picture on the left, he's happily destroying some sort of puffy fungus, squeezing it gleefully to push out all of the spores. It is never boring hanging our with this lil guy!
Like I said, things are looking up! A few fig trees have ripened and are fuller and fuller of fruit, bringing the chimps back together to feed. This week I finally caught up with the few mammas and babies that I hadn’t seen yet. Of course, after a few days in this beautiful ficus (see pictures), we’ve all been headed straight for the thorniest, elephant-iest edge of the southeastern boundary… but at least its all of us together!
Here are some of the best pictures I’ve taken this week.
This blog is a forum share my personal experiences as a field researcher and traveler.