Project Description


He was born in Valencia and belonged to a trainer who trained chimpanzees and rented them for different purposes such as television ads, studio photos, movies, circuses, etc. Behind the scenes, Charly lived a life of hardship, locked in a tiny cage in a truck where Marco, Pancho, Paquito, Pepito, Romie and Toni also lived. He was part of MONA’s first ever rescue and is one of the chimps to have best adapted to his new life. He has a reserved character and is very sensitive and intelligent, but this is not so easily determined by unfamiliar eyes.


1989 – 2020
Place of Birth: In captivity, Valencia
Arrival at MONA: March 2001



His former owner was a trainer who used chimpanzees for TV shows and movies. He lived for more than eight years locked in the dark in a cage on the truck from which he was never able to leave, move, or do any activity. When he came to MONA, he showed signs of aggression due to insecurity. Anything unknown scared him.When he was stressed, he moved his head in a circular motion.


He belonged to The Mutamba Group and was one of the chimpanzees of the Group competing to be alpha male.


  • He liked enrichments that pose new problems to solve. He was very good at finding new solutions and inventing new tools to obtain the enrichment prizes. He even used to crie with excitement when he saws that he will be participating in cognitive experiments which present complex problems to solve.


  • When Charly used to make his nest for sleeping, he didn’t seem to mind if Toni shares it with him every night.
  • Charly used to throw straw at the new volunteers for several weeks because he was very suspicious!
  • Charly was very playful with the new males despite his imposing size.


He was part of the group we call the Mutamba.*

Mutamba: Strychnos spinosa is a native tree of tropical and subtropical Africa. After the rainy season it produces a sweet, juicy yellow sour fruit, a supplemental source of food for the rural population and a highly nutritious fruit that also feeds many animals, including the monkeys. In fact, it is also named “spiny monkey-orange”.