Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Matriarch: Pandora

Pandora Watches

As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.

Pandora was born at the Los Angeles Zoo on March 5, 1967, making her the oldest chimp at the LA Zoo currently. And, her mostly bald body reveals her age, but she certainly doesn’t act elderly. She is the mother of Regina, Gracie, Jerrard, and Ripley. She is the grandmother of Regina’s children Yoshiko and Jake, and of Gracie’s daughter Jean. Her family, like her, have a tendency to bald from the forehead down. Yet, they all have beautiful features and intimidating muscle structures.

Since her oldest son's displacement from the Alpha position, and now that her youngest son wants the position, as their mother, Pandora finds herself involved in many of the male dominance spats. As in the wild, mothers are often a big part of the disputes. For, it is important that their family remain in a dominant position ... as they have choice food picks, and mating rights.

Though bald, Pandora can appear very intimidating because she has very powerful muscle structure, even at 42 years of age.

Pandora watches other chimps in her group:

Pandora with young Zoe:
The Bald

Pandora chilling with big guy Shaun:
Sitting and Waiting

Pandora holds daughter Gracie in the shadows:
In the Shadows

Though scary looking, Pandora and son Jerrard were just playing around:
Go Ahead ... Make My Day!

Pandora at play again with a younger female:
Ape Play

Pandora - one limber old lady:
One Limber Old Lady

Pandora at rest:
Pandora Takes It Easy


  1. Your portrait pictures which start out each entry are quite dramatic and make each chimp show his or her individuality. With your interest in chimps and apes and monkeys, I do hope you've been to see Jane Goodall talk. I've managed to see her twice and was aware of my luck thru the whole of it. (If she's availabe, there are always her talks on ted.com.)

    Now to see if someone sells plastic reindeer who stand on their hind legs.

  2. Ugh. That would be "if JG's not available".

  3. Thanks for the tip, CrankyOtter ... I've not seen Jane Goodall talk in person, yet ... but have watched her films, etc. I hope to do so, tho.