Maureen is a senior member of the Bulindi community. We can't be sure of her age, but she's probably nearing 40. She's witnessed huge changes in her lifetime: the destruction of her forest home and the shift to a life foraging in village gardens and trying to avoid people. Maureen has an air of detachment about her and is one of those chimps who seem 'hard to know'. While she prefers to stay quietly in the background most of the time, she's a tough old chimp and, if riled, even noisy females like Leila won't dare take her on! Maureen's mothering style sometimes verges on 'tough love' but she produces calm, self-assured and independent offspring. Her known children are Tom (sadly deceased), Jack, Rohen and her latest infant, Lucia.
Maureen was named after chimp researcher Maureen McCarthy who conducted the first genetic census of Hoima's 300 'village' chimpanzees, including the Bulindi community!
Four year-old Georgia is Leila's eldest offspring. As the daughter of the top-ranked female in Bulindi, Georgia benefits from her mother's influential role at the centre of the group. Not surprisingly she's confident for her age, and she's bigger than her close age-mates Merrick and Rohen. While some infants struggle when their mother gives birth to a new baby, Georgia seemed delighted when baby sister Wendy came along last year. She relishes her role as big sister and can often be seen carrying Wendy on her back or belly, just as Leila does. Clearly, Georgia will be an excellent mother one day!
Wendy is Leila's infant daughter and the youngest member of the Bulindi chimp community. She's now 11 months old! Wendy was recently named after Wendy Tisdell, director of BridgIt Water Foundation who generously supported a borehole project at Bulindi. Thanks to the help from (human!) Wendy, 3 villages in Bulindi now have access to clean water -- impacting over 1000 people! Already we're seeing a positive effect for the chimps too: the boreholes mean that people no longer fetch water from the forest, and as a result they're less likely to get into altercations with the chimps!
LEILA is a tough cookie. At 17 or 18, she's still young but she's the top-ranked female at Bulindi -- which is unusual, since in chimp society a female's rank is usually related to her age. We strongly suspect Leila is the daughter of the elderly Joyce (they always hang out and share food together), and Joyce seems to have been the previous alpha female. Perhaps, then, Leila has enjoyed a privileged position since she was young. Leila is Bulindi's noisiest chimp; her distinct raspy voice carries for miles. She often calls and displays for no apparent reason when the others are resting. She has two offspring: 4-year old Georgia and 11-month old Wendy. Leila's girls typically ride together on her back during travel.