Project Description


He was born in Valencia and belonged to a trainer who trained chimpanzees and rented animals for different purposes; television adverts, studio photos, movies, circuses etc. Behind the scenes Marco lived a life of hardship, locked in a tiny cage in a truck, where Charly, 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’s an enigmatic individual and does not allow you to get to know him easily.


Date of Birth: 1984
Place of Birth: In captivity, Valencia
Arrival at MONA: March 2001



Marco was one of the most worked chimpanzees during his last years with his former owner, starring in ad campaigns for Estrella Damm and Teleline among others. Unfortunately you can still find postcards with pictures of him as a young chimp.


He’s one of the most elusive chimpanzees with people and is difficult to spot when there’s a visit because he doesn’t seem to care for the cameras. But among his own he’s an essential part of social life. He’s intelligent and ensures peace in the group. Because of his disease caused by malnutrition, Marco is chronically ill and as such, must take daily medication.


He belongs to The Mutamba Group. Despite his heart-disease, he was the dominant male for many years. Recently, however, he has been pushed down from his throne but is not making any efforts to try getting his position back at the moment.


  • He loves to use plastic bottles to drag along the ground to make noise during his shows of force.
  • He’s not afraid of storms and welcomes them with his particular “rain dance”.
  • He loves to ask his caregivers for the peel/skin of fruits from dinner that the other chimps have thrown out of the bedroom.


  • When Marco is having dinner he’s very impatient.
  • When Marco has his hands full of food he can walk upright for several minutes.
  • Marco is Charly’s brother and Waty’s uncle, and his father was Paquito.


He is 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”.