It’s been slightly over a year since Manno was relocated to Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and we are pleased to announce that he has finally completed his full integration with all the chimpanzees in his group.
Manno has been incredibly brave in the long, arduous process of getting accustomed to his new home; every step a small victory for both him and his keepers. Since being snatched away from his mother shortly after birth, he was kept mostly in isolation at his previous home at Duhok Zoo, Iraq, and never experienced the company of other chimpanzees He has had to overcome his fears and gradually get used to living with his new roommates at Sweetwaters.
After his requisite medical quarantine on arrival, he was permitted to start integrating, slowly, with the females. He turned out to be quite the ladies’ man and in no time at all they were all fully captivated by his charm. Then in September, he was introduced to the males, starting with Niyonkuru. This is always more risky as chimpanzee males are naturally very territorial, but after just a couple of small setbacks, he managed to win them over too. He is now totally accepted as one of the gang.
The transformation in his demeanor since he first came to Ol Pejeta has been outstanding. At the onset, Manno was shy and withdrawn, but these days he is a confident lad enjoying a second lease on life. He is now a happy camper at Sweetwaters and loves testing his agility jumping from tree to tree and hitching piggyback rides on the females – two of his favorite activities.
The positive integration can be largely attributed to Manno’s tender age and the vast experience of the sanctuary staff. Their understanding of resident chimpanzee behavior, group dynamics and social structure meant they could accurately judge just how and when to successfully introduce Manno to his new friends.
At four years old, Manno has endured more trauma than any animal ever should. We are delighted that he can now enjoy life to the fullest in a natural environment with his own kind.
Next time you visit Sweetwaters, come and see Manno in his element with his new found buddies.
Donate and help Manno continue thriving at Sweetwaters here.