Supergroups, a Beautiful New Baby and Plenty of Chicks!

June 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

When Louis met Pearl… 

As I’m sure many of you blog readers already know there is a lot going on in Budongo Trail at the moment! Earlier this year we had 11 new chimps arrive all the way from Beekse Bergen Safari Park in Holland.  The new group consisted of 5 males (Claus, Paul, Rene, Bram and Frek) and 6 females (Eva, Edith, Pearl, Heleen, Sophie and Lianne)  The new group was kept separate from our original group to begin with to allow them to settle in but since then many of our chimps have been introduced.  Keepers have been working hard gradually introducing individuals from the two groups and the latest advance is the formation of a third ‘super group’.  This new group was started by Louis, a high-ranking older male from Qafzeh’s group being moved into a separate pod with Pearl, the oldest female (40 years old) from Claus’ group. These two had gotten on well from the very first introductions and they were closely followed by David, Louis’ friend and ally from Qafzeh’s group and Heleen, a mid ranking female from Claus’ group who is very popular with the boys!  Since then seven other chimps have been introduced to this third group, including the dominant females from both groups (Emma and Eva) and Ricky the oldest male at nearly 49 years old who has shown to be very popular!  

David (Front) and Lianne (Back) in the SuperGroup!

Introductions seem to be going smoothly so far but there is sure to be lots of noisy displaying as the remaining boys are introduced and try to work out where they stand in the new hierarchy.  Displaying is how male chimps show off their power and strength; all of their hair stands on end and they run and swing around, making lots of noise and fuss by hooting and banging.  It’s not all about power and strength however, they have to form alliances and make friends with other chimps (males and females) in order to gain their support.  It is sure to be an interesting few months in Budongo Trail as introductions progress so next time you’re visiting us make sure you pop in to Budongo Trail to catch up on how everyone is getting along!  

And for all you Budongo badge collectors we now have badges of our new chimps on sale at the touch table and new badges for our original Edinburgh group will be following shortly! 

A Beautiful Young Girl! 

Other primate news from RZSS comes from our sister park, Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig where there has been a new arrival for the group of Japanese macaques!  These monkeys are often called snow monkeys as they are well adapted to surviving very cold winters of down to -15 ˚C and are most famous for bathing in hot springs to keep warm.  The new arrival is a female who was born on April 23rd to first time mother Mang.  The baby has been named Bishoujo which is Japanese for beautiful young girl. 

The new arrival won't be fully weaned for about a year! Photo credit: RZSS

'Bishoujo' is Japanese for beautiful young girl. Photo credit: RZSS

Penguin Chicks up to 50! 

And of course back at the zoo there are plenty more new arrivals making an appearance in our penguin enclosure! The number of gentoo penguin chicks has reached the 50 mark, which means that even more have hatched than last year! If you haven’t already had a look then check out our you tube channel for a video of our penguin chicks hatching and their first health checks! 

As you can see the penguin chicks are growing fast!

It is also mating season for our king penguins! They have just moulted and are starting to show courtship behaviours so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for this season after the breeding success of last year!


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§ 2 Responses to Supergroups, a Beautiful New Baby and Plenty of Chicks!

  • Malik says:

    intesting story you got here mate, this reminds me of when I visited the zoo. really fun 🙂

  • Jacqueline McGinty says:

    I just love the Chimps! Well done to all the keepers on all their hard work! Hope to be back and see the gang very soon.

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