Center for Great Apes/USA: California Group update

Posted in 01/02/2023

Josh (CGA)

From Center for Great Apes Sanctuary

The seven former research chimpanzees who arrived at CGA one year ago from the closed Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles are just fabulous!  The four adult males and three adult females have settled into their new home in Wauchula and have captured all our hearts.

Josh, the oldest male, is the dominant alpha and takes his role seriously. When the caregivers call the group inside for a meal, Josh patiently sits outside to make sure everyone comes in before coming in himself. Josh and Ewok (both 35 years) are only a few months apart in age and often share their “top dog” status. Billy, 28, is a few years younger and can step into the alpha role with the females when Josh or Ewok are napping. Mystery at 27 is the youngest male and lowest ranking in the group. However, Mystery believes he should be the alpha now, so there are occasionally situations where Josh and Ewok loudly tell Mystery that he is NOT the alpha.

The three lovely females – Sabina (35), Maude (28), and ShaSha (25) get along remarkably well, but Sabina is closest to Josh and Ewok whom she lived with when they were all infants in the NY lab. Sabina likes to eat her meals next to Ewok and enjoys his company.  Maude is more independent and prefers to carry her little brown lunch bags outside to the highest perches and eat her meals alone so that she doesn’t have to share. Maude and Billy are very close, and she depends on Billy to back her up in any disagreements.

ShaSha, the youngest, is spoiled by the group and usually gets her way. Besides having a fashion interest in wearing black bandanas, ShaSha likes to get plastic cups and fill them with water and all types of things (twigs, pine needles, rocks, dirt, etc.) to make mud pies. She builds an individual nest of blankets every night and sleeps right next to Maude out in the aerial trailways on nice nights.  And, ShaSha has a routine. Even when the others in her group are still outside and running around in their habitat, ShaSha is usually in bed at 5 p.m. sharp!

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