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Monday, December 21, 2009
A Wonderful Morning with the Chimpanzees
The rest of the Lincoln Park Zoo crew arrived a couple days ago, including Dominic Travis, D.V.M., Rachel Santymire, Ph.D., Felix Lankester, D.V.M., and Colleen O’Donnell. We spent the entire day meeting with our partners at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Gombe Stream Research Centre to review progress on various health, endocrine and training initiatives.
Once the meetings were out of the way, we spent our last morning in the park out with the chimpanzees, and it was truly amazing. We saw almost the entire main study community, including one of my favorites, Freud. Freud is one of the oldest males and hadn’t been seen for many weeks, so we were very happy to see him looking well and healthy.
We also marveled at the guts of young Ferdinand, the current alpha male. His two older brothers, Frodo and Freud, are previous alpha males, but Ferdinand clearly felt secure in his “boss” position. Perhaps having two formerly powerful older brothers helps...
After leaving the chimps, we started the long, four-day trip back to the U.S. It has been wonderful to be back for the first time in several years, and I am very much looking forward to our summer 2010 trip to continue our work. Stay tuned...
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Gombe Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute to study and conserve chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, the site of Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking research. Our Gombe field diaries feature updates as scientists monitor chimpanzee health, study ape behavior and experience life in Gombe.
As director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lonsdorf leads Lincoln Park Zoo efforts in Gombe National Park.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction in Gombe's chipmanzees.
A graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, Matt is studying how levels of play in Gombe¹s chimpanzees influence stress, development and reproductive success.
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