A beautiful group shot - everyone in the trees!
The day before yesterday Shegue, Clara and Flora were moved into the dormitory and today they joined the forest group! These three females are from one of the adult groups, and the idea is that we will mix up the integrations so that at each stage we are giving the new chimpanzees time to bond. This will hopefully avoid the group fragmenting at a later time.
When these three adult females were released, it was a slower process than with the infants or juveniles. Shegue, Clara and Flora have been in the concrete cages for many years and therefore moving into this open space can be stressful and scary for a while. They also need to become used too many young boisterous chimpanzees running around at the same time!
The day went well, but slower than with the younger chimpanzees who have adapted very quickly. Flora and Shegue were the most scared – while Clara was a little more confident and decided to focus on trying to crack the nuts she found in the forest. Finding it very difficult – she realised the easiest option was to collect a handful and take them to her caregiver Claude to crack for her!
We know with time Shegue, Clara and Flora will soon be as confident as the younger chimpanzees in the forest! We are happy to move as slow as they need to adapt to this new environment.
Clara - first time in the forest
Fizi getting to know Clara
Gari relaxing in the forest
Flora adapting to the new environment
Misisi, Kanshi and Shegue at the pond - 3 groups becoming 1
Gorgeous Shegue - its been a long time since she has been in a forest! It will take time to adjust!