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 recognised by unfamiliar eyes.


Date of Birth: 1989
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 a truck from which he was never able to leave, move, or do any activity. When Charly came to MONA he showed signs of aggression due to insecurity, and any unknown thing scared him. When stressed he moves his head in circular motion for a while.


He has gained a lot more confidence and is one of the pillars of the Mutamba group.


He belongs to The Mutamba Group and is one of the chimpanzees of the group who is competing to be alpha male.


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


  • When Charly makes his nest for sleeping he doesn’t seem to mind if Toni shares it with him every night.
  • When Charly meets new volunteers, he throws straw at them for some weeks because he’s always very suspicious of strangers!
  • Charly can be identified by his split ear and grey back.
  • When Charly meets a new male, he’s very playful despite his imposing size.


He is part of the group we call the Mutamba. It´s a mixed sex group, currently consisting of 5 males and 2 females.