|Posted by The Kendall Project on April 1, 2009 at 2:23 PM|
Kendall's group recently went from four chimps to five chimps!
We introduced adult male Hondo to the group a few weeks ago. Hondo has been the alpha male of the NCZP chimp troop for many years.
With Kendall turning 10 years old in May, keepers believed it was more important than ever to let Kendall begin building relationships with other male chimps. If Kendall is to make it into the entire chimp troop, it is essential for him to have other chimps (preferably strong males) that will back him up during periods of aggression. Hondo and Kendall had not been previously introduced, and it had been several months since Hondo had lived with Tammy, Betty, and Amy. Fortunately, the introduction went very smoothly. Kendall was very apprehensive of Hondo at first, but within 24 hours was sitting right next to the big guy, taking juice and training with keepers.
Kendall is still somewhat nervous when Hondo approaches him, but does not scream and run away as he has done with other chimps in the past. Hondo is generally very calm around younger male chimps, and has been wonderful with Kendall. He does not push Kendall to interact, and has only chased Kendall a few times to establish his alpha status. We have even seen Hondo offering Kendall reassurance several times! We hope the two will become more closely bonded over time. We are very lucky to have such an amazing alpha male chimp at the zoo!