Meet little Kasatu - the last of the 22 chimpanzees in our 'meet and greet the Bulindi chimps' series. Kasatu, meaning 'the third' in the local Runyoro language, was so-called because he was the third infant born during a baby boom in April last year. He is Jemima's first infant and she's hugely protective of him. Perhaps because Jemima herself is small, Kasatu is the smallest of the three same-aged infants. Still, he's doing well and likes to clamber around by himself, whenever Jemima lets him out of reach. Kasatu has a 'crazy old man' face which exudes character.
The penultimate chimpanzee in our 'meet & greet' series is Jemima (pronounced Yemima), the youngest mum in the Bulindi community. We first got to know her as a juvenile in 2012. In the wild, female chimps normally give birth for the first time aged 13 - 16 years old. So it came as a surprise when Jemima gave birth to infant Kasatu last year when she only 10 or perhaps 11 years old. She was still growing herself and owing to the energetic demands of motherhood, Jemima has remained small as an adult.
Jemima is the eldest daughter of Mirinda and the two females have a very close bond. Both are calm, good natured females who avoid quabbles, preferring to groom and rest quietly together with their offspring.
Araali is the epitomy of resilience and spirit in the face of misfortune. Orphaned at the age of 5, when mum Olive was killed by a speeding car, most young chimps would have struggled to cope with the loss. Thanks to support from older brother Moses, and Araali's own indomitable spirit, Araali not only survived -- shrugging off the inevitable setbacks that come with being an orphan -- he's gone from strength to strength! Now a young adolescent, aged 8, Araali has an independent and dogged temperament. Like Moses before him, Araali can be a disruptive presence in the group, having recently begun challenging the adult females. However, alpha male Sylvester has taken Araali under his wing, and is particularly tolerant of him even when Araali mates with 'forbidden' females. Perhaps Sylvester recognises Araali might be a valuable ally in a few years time!