Sad news

March 24, 2009

We have some sad news from Sonso today, Zimba’s baby boy who was born earlier this month tragically died on the 20th March. For several days the baby was whimpering and crying and appeared to have trouble drinking. Zimba, an experienced mother, was very disturbed by this and constantly moved around to try and settle the baby. The baby was heard but not seen on the 18th, and then on the 19th Zimba was seen carrying the tiny infant’s dead body. She was seen without the body on the 20th, and it was found on one of the trails later in the day. Our site vet has conducted a preliminary autopsy but found no clear cause of death. The loss of any of our chimps is a very sad moment, especially the young ones who have a whole future ahead of them, but it is particularly devastating in this case as this was one of the very few boys to have been born into the community in recent years.

On a more cheerful note the other baby boy who was born to Melissa at the start of the year has been named Mbotella for one of our field-assistants, and the stranger female known as Stranger E has been renamed Tanja. Her two girls are called Tapura (10-12 years old) and Tamara (5-6 years old). We’ll pop some pictures and more information on them into the biography pages as soon as we get them.

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