Meet Gola


Photo: Kristin Sabbi

Gola is a young infant in the community, born to Outamba, the alpha female in the community.  Chimpanzee infants are born more well-developed than are human infants — they must cling to their mothers in the trees!  Gola’s mother will provide milk for him for 2-4 years, but gradually Gola will venture away from her mother’s embrace for longer and longer periods, exploring her environment, learning what there is to eat (and how to eat it), and playing with other juveniles and adults. Recently, we discovered that young chimpanzees like to use sticks from the forest as toys, carrying a favorite stick around for long periods.  They show a remarkable sex difference in how they use them.  Girls like Gola carry their sticks close to them and even build sleeping nests to place their sticks in.  Boy chimpanzees are more likely to poke or hit other chimpanzees with their sticks.

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