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Meet the Chimps of Island 1A

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Anita and Lenya of Island 1A

Island 1A is located on the Little Bassa River and home to a lively and close-knit group of 12 chimpanzees: Papita, Anita, Finn, Lenya, Brutus, Pacific, Spright, Sidney, Noli, Bassa, Rita, and Lovette. 

Papita rules as alpha on Island 1A. Though there is ongoing competition between the males for the top spot, Papita is supported by his mother, Anita, who is the highest-ranking female and deeply respected by the entire group. Anita is also mother to son Finn, a nine-year-old who was born on the island. Spright was born around the same time as Finn in 2012, and though his mother, Noli, is not as high-ranking as Anita, Spright tests the boundaries more than Finn does and is even bold enough to tease some of the older males! Noli is also mother to daughters Sidney, a sweet and gentle 13-year-old, and little Bassa, who is nearly three years old. Bassa takes after her brother, Spright, and is already quite social for her age, attempting to take fruit from the other chimps at times! 

Rita was born to Anita and Brutus on the island shortly after the group was moved there. Rita is now a proud mom herself to little Lovette, who is almost two years old.* Brutus, Lenya, and Pacific can be rambunctious and sometimes conflict arises as they compete with Papita for rank, but Anita is the glue of the group and plays a major role in pacifying and reassuring her friends during disputes. Brutus is the oldest chimp in the group at 43, but nonetheless holds the number two spot in rank next to Papita. 

This wonderful group is confident, intelligent, and closely bonded – they are also unique in that about half of them were born on the island, never experiencing invasive research and instead sharing lifelong family bonds. 

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*All births at Second Chance Chimpanzee Refuge are accidental. As a sanctuary, we have a responsibility to do our best to prevent pregnancies. All of the male chimps in our care were given vasectomies (with varying success) when the laboratory retired them to the islands, and all unsterilized females currently receive birth control. Although it has been an ongoing challenge to maintain a foolproof contraception program, we applaud our amazing veterinary and caregiving staff for working hard to improve our birth control methods!

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