Waty’s the daughter of two chimpanzees that lived in a truck. She came to MONA with Bongo and both of them were in very bad shape; skinny, malnourished and very traumatized. They were seized because the chimpanzee trainer who used to rent them for advertisements, circuses and television programs did not have the correct papers.
At the time of her rescue she was fully active in the entertainment world, but we suspect that she only had a few more years of ‘usefulness’ because she showed a very strong and dominant character. Despite the fact that young chimpanzees are usually very interested in baby chimps, Waty didn’t seem to notice little Bongo when he was crying for attention. In addition to this strange behaviour, Waty was spending a lot of time swaying, with a big pile of straw. This is a typical stress behaviour in chimpanzees that have been separated early from their mothers, serving to console them for lack of a maternal embrace.
She has become a very quick and graceful female, and socially she’s very intelligent. She perfectly understands all the tools necessary to make affiliations and loves spending hours and hours in grooming sessions. She still rocks with straw before she goes to sleep but in general we can say that she’s a very balanced chimpanzee.
GROUP AND SITUATION
She’s the dominant female of the group and has a fondness for Nico, although in a brotherly love way, because having grown up together there’s a natural taboo between them that prevents it being more.
- She loves to play tickle with her peers. When yogurt is the protein of the day she always chooses the flavour she prefers and she signals to the caregivers what she wants (usually strawberry, forest fruits or one of the ‘red’ flavours!). She’s also crazy for tomatoes, fruit juice and vegetable soup.
- When Waty knows there’s a new caregiver she tests them out and if they’re lackadaisical they can get a fright.
- When Waty’s having dinner, she saves an apple or an orange to accompany the rice ball that we give at the end of the day.
- When Waty prepares her straw nest for sleeping, she always makes it in her favourite hammock and asks the carers for a blanket to make it more comfortable.
- Waty’s father was the brother of Charly and Marco.
We call her group The Family Group. It is a mixed group consisting of three males (two adults and a teenager) and two teenage females. Despite the name of the group we do not believe that any of the chimpanzees are related. The idea of this group is for the integration of newly rescued females and/or males which have been rejected by the group of males.