She was acquired in the 90’s, along with a male chimp called Tom, by her former owner who obtained them legally through an intermediary who bought them from a circus when they were about 10 years old because they were no longer needed. We know nothing of her life in the circus, only that the correct papers existed. (Our laws still allow private collectors, circuses and trainers that rent to television programs to keep potentially dangerous, extremely social and intelligent animals in danger of extinction such as chimpanzees).
Once acquired by her previous owner, she lived for 20 years in a cage that he built in his garden, in a village near Girona. She lived with another female chimp called Coco, and sometimes with Tom who was not always with them because there were times when he would attack them out of frustration or boredom. Her former owner is one of the few exemplary cases because despite having permission to legally have these animals in cages in the garden of his house, following many meetings with wildlife experts from FAADA and MONA, he agreed to allow the 3 chimps to move to MONA. As well as considering their improved welfare he also promised to help us financially with the lifetime care of Bea, Coco and Tom.
We could say that Bea is an adult chimpanzee with perfectly balanced behaviours at a social level. She’s sociable and calm and knows the art of peace, yet no step is left if anyone happens to her. She’s in the process of association with the family group and at first it seemed that she would be able to enter the group quickly and easily at any given time but she lost interest, so we followed it.
GROUP AND SITUATION
She belongs to the New Rescues Group and lives with Coco. She’s in the process of association with the Family.
- She does not like cooked potato or meat but really likes lettuce and all fruit.
- She loves making a big nest to sleep in and even covers them with blankets if she has some.
- When Bea knows the chimps she’s meeting, she quickly offers her belly and presses it against the separation as a sign of friendship.
- When Bea refuses to cooperate with caregivers she can be very stubborn and we have no choice but to wait and bribe her with her favourite food to allow us to close the doors that separate one area from another.
- When Bea arrived we thought she was like a female version of Toni, because she has a lot of grey hair, and she’s short, chubby and compact!
- When Bea first went to the outside installation she liked it so much she wouldn’t come back in until 7.30am the next day!
We call her group The New Rescues. Right now it consists Bea and Coco. They are in the process of joining the The Family Group.