Oh my god these bonobos - does it ever stop? I've been too upset to write about Tata dying, and everyone who knew him is just devastated. For those of you who never met Tata, he was the most handsome bonobos ever. He was the oldest male, and he never smiled. I can't tell you the hours I spent tryignt o get even a smirk out of him. I tickled him and poked him and played chase all over the sanctuary, and Tata was just too cool to smile.
Sometimes I think he was sad to be a bonobo because he obviously wanted to be in charge. Occassionally he would slap one of the females around, trying to be dominant, but of course the female alliance never let him get the better of him. Despite occasional skirmishes, he loved the girls. He was always busting out of his enclosure, but instead of running around the sanctuary causeing havoc, he would jump into the other enclosures to have sex with the females. And if he had a crush on someone and the keepers moved her for some reason, he would break out of his enclosure and run around until he found her.
He was just so majestic. Regal even.
Claudine says it's like having 60 children. you love them all and when one of them dies it's a terrible loss. So heart hugs to Claudine, she almost never cries, but she shed some tears for her Tatango...