Sierra Leone Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Programme
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Age: 23




As well as being the founding chimp of the sanctuary, Bruno is also a local celebrity and the former alpha male of our original group of chimps at Tacugama. Bruno is forcefully charismatic, spectacularly imposing and physically the strongest chimpanzee at the Sanctuary.

Bruno has gained a world-class notoriety for throwing stones in the defense of his territory. When in the mood, Bruno is capable of imitating several traditionally human-like characteristics such as tongue rolling and twisting, ‘flying kisses’, and even laughter.

When Bala Amarasekaran and his wife Sharmila first saw Bruno he was a few months old, and very weak. They paid $30 for him, (certain that if they had not he would have soon died), and named him Bruno - after Frank Bruno, the British heavyweight boxer who was fighting Mike Tyson that very day!

For a year he lived in Bala and Sharmila's house, without a cage, and got into plenty of mischief. When they rescued a second chimp, Julie, Bala erected a cage for them in the garden. When the sanctuary was built, Bruno had to remain in a cage, as he was too large to go on the daily forest walks with the younger chimps. It wasn't until the electric fenced enclosures were built in 1998 that Bruno was able to taste the freedom of the forest.

Bruno is now 21 years old and is a large, powerful chimp. While he is no longer with us at the Sanctuary we do hope he returns soon. He is wary of visitors and is painfully accurate at hurling rocks and stones at anyone he doesn't like the look of. We all miss his spectacular and impressive displays. However, to those who know him, he is an extremely affectionate and cheeky character. He keeps his group in order whenever things get out of hand (usually at feeding time) and is gentle and protective over the young ones.

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Chimpanzee Facts
Chimps in some regions are also known for their tool use. They use grass to fish for termites in the mound or use stones to crack nuts. Scientists in Senegal have recently discovered chimps using chimpmade spears to hunt monkeys in the wild.

More Facts

Last Updated: February 1, 2007