Cecília is not alone anymore

Posted in 28/08/2017

Cecília and Marcelino (GAP Project)

Loneliness for a chimpanzee is the main torture that can exist. Cecilia was desperately searching for a company. It did not work with Billy, he is not interested in chimpanzees, only humans. A product of the life in a circus, which has accustomed him to this kind of fake company.

Marcelino is 10 years old and was born in the Sanctuary; His mother is Tata, who managed to create and accompany him. Marcellino is already a teenager and has reached sexual maturity. He was facing relationship problems with his father, Peter, who along with Tata already had two other babies, Miguel and Millan. Marcellino was defying the authority of his father, who is of great dominance in the family. It is the drama of the captivity. In the wild, when they are teenagers and there are conflicts, they seek another destination, they are free to come and go.

We were managing this relationship. One week Marcellino stayed with his mother and brothers, and for three weeks he was alone. They were connected by windows, but it was not the same as life in common.

Marcellino also needed a permanent company. When we started the approach, we noticed Cecilia’s interest in the young candidate. She spent some time by the window until he appeared. Marcellino did not have this patience.

Last Friday (08/25/2017) we decided to open the door of the room that separated them and the meeting happened. At first, like his dominant father, he marked the territory, screaming and running, without showing intimacy. Cecilia tried by all means to captivate him and seek contact. When he got more agitated, she ran away, screaming.

We separated them for an hour and we already knew that both were very close to intimacy. At the second meeting, the approach took place and Cecilia took on the role of mother, and, like Tata, began grooming him until he surrendered. They hugged, kissed, and did not break apart in the next few hours.

Cecilia is fascinated with Marcellino, spoiling him constantly. And he does not reject it at all. We opened up access to two more enclosures for them to have more space. However, they prefer the tunnels and the catwalk, where their intimacy is more sheltered from human curiosity.

Cecilia, Argentine from Mendoza, and Marcelino, Brazilian from Sorocaba, began a life in common, which will mitigate loneliness and make life in captivity more acceptable.

Judge María Alejandra Mauricio, the leaders of the EcoParque and the Environment of Mendoza, and the AFADA Organization, author of the Habeas Corpus, can now rest easy, since they have contributed so much to make Cecilia happy, showing the world that the Great Apes also have the right to a full life.

Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian

General Secretary , GAP International Project