Fauna Foundation Chimpanzee Binky with Mirror

Relationships between Caregivers and Chimpanzees

A few months ago we explored a few relationships between caregivers and chimpanzees. You can read that original post here. We thought we could revisit this post with a Part Two, featuring a different set of caregivers and chimps! As we mentioned previously, no relationship is quite the same. Just like with our human friends and family, the relationships between our residents and caregivers can be just as unique and complex. 

Maya and Laurence

Maya tends to have her walls up when it comes to meeting new people. While under the care of universities and zoos, as the lowest ranking chimpanzee, Maya was often bullied by the other members of the group.

Maya is kind and sensitive and likes to spend quiet time one-on-one with caregivers that provide their undivided attention to her. Laurence is that person for Maya. Kind, loving, and patient, Laurence whispers sweet nothings to Maya and Maya absolutely adores these kind words. They spend quiet times together, grooming and using Maya’s nebulizer to help with her chronic sinusitis. They both simply enjoy each other’s company. Fun fact: Maya understands both English and French so Laurence and her are both perfectly bilingual! Laurence tends to speak to her in French, which she adores. 

Maya and Fauna Caregiver, Laurence

Rachel and Glee

Rachel and Glee met, like most friends do, through a common friend named Toby. Our late Toby was intrigued by Glee when she first started working at Fauna and he “introduced” her to Rachel. This is how Glee came to know Rachel and how they began a genuine, reciprocal relationship. Glee is attentive to Rachel’s needs and inspects any and all wounds or concerns Rachel may have to the greatest detail. Rachel still suffers from some PTSD episodes which are very difficult to bear witness to as a close friend. However, Glee remains solid and committed to helping Rachel out of these dark moments. Glee and Rachel have a truly compatible relationship that is lovely to witness.

Rachel and Fauna Caregiver, Glee

Tanya and Binky

Ever since Binky and Tanya met there has been an ongoing match of chase between the two of them. Relationships can be founded on a number of things — like trust, communication, empathy, etc. The foundation of this unique relationship would have to be PLAY! Albeit more complex and deep than just the playfulness these two share, their energies together are contagious. Despite Tanya’s absence while on maternity leave, they still manage to take off right where they left off at every encounter. Not only is Binky rambunctious and playful, he is loyal, understanding and empathetic. These are all characteristics that these two share and make them great friends. 

Fauna Foundation Chimpanzee Binky with Mirror
Binky, always up for some playtime! Photo © NJWight

Special relationships between Caregivers and Chimpanzees

While the chimps may have preferences in people, we stress to caregivers not to have favourites and it’s important that each chimpanzee feel supported by each of the caregivers. Each caregiver endeavours to have the best relationship possible with each of our special residents.

Please consider making a donation to Fauna to support our essential caregivers and their activities with the chimpanzees.

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