Tiki is famous in Tchimpounga … he is the greatest escape artist we have. There has yet to be a fence built that he cannot escape. He is a wizard with tools, and a great problem solver. Sadly, his awesome talent has meant for several years he had to be housed indoors in one of Tchimpounga’s dormitories, while the facilities on the islands were being built.
Finally, Tiki’s fortunes have changed and he once again can live where he belongs, in the forests of Africa. Tiki was one of the lucky ones to transfer to Tchibebe Island in 2014. He has been living for a number of years in a small group of three to four individuals. So the first step for him when he transferred to Tchibebe was to be reintegrated into the much larger group of 27 individuals. While it was a bit of a shock for him, he took it all in his stride and made the transition easy, as he is a pretty laid back chimpanzee and everyone likes him.
Tiki’s first day out in the forest of Tchibebe Island was a monumental occasion for the staff. Everyone was so happy to finally be giving Tiki back his freedom. His first day out, he went with a good friend, Ulengue, who is a kind and calm chimpanzee. Ulengue guided Tiki through the forest pathways, assisting Tiki as he explored his new forest home. Staff followed behind quietly, ensuring that Tiki was safe and not afraid of this very foreign environment. Everyone had been wondering how he would respond to feeling moist soil under his feet again, being able to climb a tree and pick fruit from the tree itself, and hearing all the wonderful forest noises. Ulengue’s calm presence ensured that Tiki’s first day back in “forest school” was a wonderful one. Over the coming days, new group members will gradually be added to his group and once again everyone will be outside altogether, living in one large community.
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