Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Real Big Guy, Shaun

Sitting and Pondering

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.

This is Glenn's big brother Shaun. He was once alpha male, but decided he didn't like the responsibility, and so allowed his little brother Glenn to take over. He works with his brother to keep that position in his family, though. For, Shaun is by far the largest of the 13 chimps.

As I've watched the chimps so often, it seems Shaun is also the self-imposed enforcer on who gets the girls. If one of the other males (besides Glenn) tries to attract a female, Shaun will become piloerect and make quite the display of dominance in order to stop the advances. As in the wild, the less dominant (subordinate) males have to pursue any romance in secret, if at all. But, the other males usually find a way around the dominant males' watchful eyes. Otherwise, they have to make quite the display of dominance themselves.

Shaun was born July 8, 1988, at the Los Angeles Zoo to Nan and Judeo. As I stated, he was once Alpha Male after Jerrard, but gave it over to his younger brother, Glenn. He was always a good older brother to Glenn, and they look out for one another. He fathered 3, including Jean, daughter of Gracie, and Jake, son of Regina, but they don't know it, as they were handraised in order to keep them safe from the very rumbunkscious group of juvenile males at the time of their birth in 1999. He is large, has a broad face, and looks a bit like his younger brother, Glenn, but is missing a few handfuls of hair as a result of some dominance displays by other males. He also has more gray/blond hair on his back than Glenn. He is quite the sight to look at ... and can look very intimidating to the others if he wants to do so. But, most of the time, he is laid back ... sitting back against the wall, keeping an eye and ear on things for his brother.

Shaun on high alert:
On Alert

Shaun, the handsome one:
Smile big!

Shaun, after a visit to the observation window:
Chimps Visiting Their Visitors

Shaun, quietly observing:
Observing

Shaun, with a quick pose before crossing the stream:
A Quick Pose, and Off He Goes

Shaun, and an afternoon snack:
Shaun

Shaun with Gracie:
Gracie and Shaun

Shaun with Pandora:
Sitting and Waitingl

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