Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Matriarch: Pandora
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:
Pandora chilling with big guy Shaun:
Pandora holds daughter Gracie in the shadows:
Though scary looking, Pandora and son Jerrard were just playing around:
Pandora at play again with a younger female:
Pandora - one limber old lady:
Pandora at rest: