Mitsuya playing with a rock

By Hassani Rashid, Tracker- Greystoke Mahale

Up on Kilembe Mountain, we hiked to view chimpanzees. It was around mid-afternoon when the guests got to where the chimpanzees were. Most of the chimpanzees especially adults’ chimpanzees were grooming one another under a sparse forest bushes. Besides those adults chimpanzees, were several juveniles performing all sort of plays; including running up and down trees, cycling around trees, picking and throwing woods to other peer mates, rolling, slapping and so forth. Among the playing juvenile chimpanzees we found—was Mitsuya, a ten years old orphan female. She lost her mother when she was three years old; to her family only her and her brother, Michio survived to date.

When the juveniles’ playing affair came to an end—Mitsuya walked away toward a big tree, and just before she got to the tree. She found a rock, picked it up and climbed a tree while carrying it. It was amusing watching her playing on her own with a rock. We watched her making a nest right on a crossing of braches of the tree she climbed, and when the nest is made she put the rock on it. Mitsuya did not sit still; she kept moving from branch to branch, and made the branches to swing, as a result the rock kept falling off from the nest. Every time the rock falls, Mitsuya climbed down the tree to pick it and climbed back. She did that several time, but when the group started to move away from that place, she climbed down the tree and join the rest of the group while carrying the rock. She could not walk properly on her four while carrying that rock. She then, resolved to abandoned it and catch up with the rest of the group.

 

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