|Posted by The Kendall Project on January 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM|
It has been a busy and challenging couple of months for Kendall and the NCZP staff. Since our last update, we’ve had Kendall in a group with seven other chimps on twoseparate occasions. In August 2009,Jonathon and Ruthie went into Kendall's group,which was already comprised of Kendall, Hondo, Tammy, Amy, Betty and Maki. All was going well until we sadly lost Betty,a 35 year old female, in September 2009. She suffered from cardiac arrest (http://www.nczoo.org/newsroom/PressReleases/Chimp_Succumbs_To_He.html).
After the loss of Betty, in an effort to move forward towards our goal of one group of chimps, we decided to add another chimp into the group. We picked a dominant female named Ruby, age 13 years, who was acting extremely interested in Kendall at themesh. We initially introduced her onlyto Kendall and Tammy, and Kendall and Ruby appeared to get along well rightaway. We then put these three chimps back with the rest of their group the following day.
Everything appeared to be going well, but Kendall suffered a setback about 5 days into the introduction. Chimps that are the focus of an aggressive attack often deflect that aggression by turning on weaker, more subordinate individuals. In turn, most socially appropriate chimps faced with this situation would either submit to the others or attempt to defend themselves. This appeared to have happened to Kendall before keepers reported to work on October 31, 2009. Most likely two or three chimps in the group began fighting, and one or more individuals turned on Kendall to take the pressure off themselves. Keepers arrived to find Kendall with several minor injuries, which included a couple of bite wounds that required veterinary attention. Kendall’s poor socialization at a youngage and his lack of knowledge as to how to submit or defend himself most likely were the reasons he received the bite wounds. After the fight, he also appeared very frightened of several of the other chimps, most likely because he never developed the coping skills that would have allowed him to appropriately deal with aggression. As a result, staff made the decision to separate Kendall from his group so that he could heal, physically and mentally. Kendall was kept with Tammy, a female with which he has developed a close bond since his arrival at NCZP and who has oftenbeen observed defending Kendall during periodsof aggression.
After two weeks of rest, recuperation, and attention, staff members agreed to get Kendall back into hisgroup so he could move towards rebuilding bonds with the other members of his troop. Reintroductions with Hondo and Maki went smoothly. Keepers then attempted to reintroduce Ruby and Amy three days later. For some reason, this introduction caused Maki and Hondo to become aggressive towards Kendall, and again he made no attempt to submit or defend himself. Although he was not injured, he again appeared frightened. The decision was made to separate Kendall andTammy from the others until the best course of action is determined. The goal is to socialize Kendall, keeping in mind his mental and physical well-being as well as the well-being of the rest of the chimps.
All of the chimps, including Kendall and Tammy, are doing very well. We will keep you updated as to Kendall’s progress and we thank you for your continued support of The Kendall Project and chimps like Kendall.