Project Description


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.


Date of Birth: 1996
Place of Birth: In captivity, Valencia
Arrival at MONA: June 2002



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.


Despite being a very intelligent female at the social level, she has not yet achieved a good position in the hierarchy of her new group: Mutamba. But soon she will, she just needs to get to know her new colleagues a little better.


  • 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.


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

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”.