TOP
Thursday,October 17,2019 20:23 PM

Entebbe''s Zakayo turns 50

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th August 2013 09:58 AM

At 50 years of age, humans are expected to be rich and wise. The same is true for Zakayo, the chimpanzee living at the wild side of Entebbe Municipality has turned into a peace-maker and adviser.

2013 8largeimg205 aug 2013 070552917 703x422

At 50 years of age, humans are expected to be rich and wise. The same is true for Zakayo, the chimpanzee living at the wild side of Entebbe Municipality has turned into a peace-maker and adviser.

By Gerald Tenywa

At 50 years of age, humans are expected to be rich and wise. The same is true for Zakayo, the chimpanzee living at the wild side of Entebbe Municipality has turned into a peace-maker and adviser.

According to Jimmy Awany a curator at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC or Entebbe Zoo), Zakayo, who is 50 years today, ‘has got a rich experience and provides a strong bond for chimps.

Zakayo intervenes when the chimps fight, but lets them know that he is not part of the fight.”

It was feeding time when New Vision visited the zoo last Friday. Zakayo kept on raising his hands and clapped to attract the attention of the keepers to serve his favourite meal-bananas, watermelon, sugarcane. He also likes millet porridge mixed with sugar and milk.

Zakayo has spent most of his life in captivity and experienced his share of the political turmoil and civil unrest that prevailed in the country in the 1970s and 1980s. He was rescued in 1972 from Semliki, Bundibugyo and shifted to Entebbe Zoo in 1976.

Awany cited the birth of Shaka, a son fathered by Zakayo, a decade ago as a milestone for the chimpanzee community at UWEC. “Any cry from Shaka disturbed Zakayo,” said Awany.

“He was lonely and it took time for him to recover from the stress. Zakayo has undergone correctional behaviour,” says Awany,

The old bad days Zakayo faced could have turned into a fortune given that life expectancy for chimps in the wild is between 45 years and 50. In captivity, chimps can live up to 60 years.

UWEC’s 15 chimps are led by an alpha male and the reigning king, Matooke. However, it is being challenged by Shaka, who is supported by Aluma and Onapa.


RELATED STORY

Kiri, the hermaphrodite chimp at UWEC

Entebbe''s Zakayo turns 50

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles