Big fight, Tongo severely hurt
Big fight, Tongo severely hurt

Big fight, Tongo severely hurt

Dear All,

This morning, the chimps had a terrible fight during feeding time (milk) in the night enclosure. There was such agressiveness and nearly all the group was involved into the quarrel we actually couldn’t see who was fighting against who…

The keepers shouted and managed with Franck to separate the group. But it was too late… Tongo had been taken into the fight and we do think the biggest males tried to emasculate him. He defended himself, cried and some females came to help him, licked all the blood…


Tongo waiting for the vet to arrive and licking his wounds


The vet arrived. We sedated Tongo as he refused to be hugged. The vet had a closer eye on the different injuries: a small piece of his penis has been bitten off,  the arch of his left eye brow needed a stitch and his right foot showed traces of deep bites.


Chimps are known to like conflicts and war. But this is the first time we attend such violence and, from my side, it’s really heartbreaking, as poor little Tongo didn’t deserve this!

I’ll keep you posted about Tongo’s progress. Tongo has now waken up and had something to eat at lunch time. He’s doing all right and has started antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment already…


Tongo waking up



17 commentaires

  1. Thanks to all of you for asking about Tongo who is now doing fine. An update on him is coming tonight.
    As to answer K, Tongo must be 2 years old and is the youngest chimp of the main group… We are sure Tongo wasn’t the target of the fight – the complete group started fighting, boxing and biting and poor little Tongo had been grabbed and hurt by accident…

  2. paty (france)

    Jane Goodall nous avait déjà parlé depuis longtemps de la violence inouie qu’elle avait pu constater dans des groupes d’adultes mais c’est incroyable que cela se soit produit chez des jeunes presque encore bebes car dans la nature ils ne quittent leurs méres qu’a 4 ans ou plus.
    Ce pauvre petit Tongo s’est trouvé dans la mélée comme au rugby et c’est fait mordre le petit bout qui devait dépasser.
    Heureusement que ce soit pas trop grave et que la fonction de la petite chose ne soit pas alterée car il pourrait etre bien handicapé plus tard. Pauvre petit loup……

  3. Fran

    Oh Roxanne! I know this is all part of the normal chimp way, but it’s so hard to see on such a little one. Best wishes to little Tongo! He will be resilient, I’m sure.

  4. Mama Kimo

    Yeah as everyone else have been writing – poor Tongo – he is so little – i mean what did he do wrong to upset the others like this! Im so releaved that his urination is already in good function, otherwise it would be a much bigger problem! I give him my best wishes for recovering and hoping for the best! Poor guy!

  5. Fernando

    Sad, but, probably it will happen with some frequency. I am not the specialist on chimpanzees, but everything I read about them is that agressiveness is part of their instinct and behaviour, so it is not surprising that this kind of fight happens. I hope it doesn´t become rager on as they all grow older. You people at JACK run a remarkable and wonderful work with that specie, wish you manage to put all the babies back to wild life – or the closer to that – some time in the future.

  6. Hakim

    It is painful to read this !

    I hope Tongo will be alright and never have sequel of this terrible fight …

    I knew that chimp could be hard but I hoped that this kind of behaviour doesn’t happen in your group …

    Big hug to Tongo

  7. Carole

    Quelle triste nouvelle!!!
    Mon petit filleul qui s’était si bien intégré dans le groupe se retrouve à être victime des violences des plus grands!

    J’espère que tout se passera bien pour lui, que ses blessures vont vite guérir et que sa réintégration se passera bien!!!

    J’attends des nouvelles impatiemment.

    Bien en pensé avec vous!

  8. Theresa

    Poor little Tongo! Thank goodness he can urinate without trouble. I hope he heals without any problems. I imagine he will be hesitant to return to the group for a while. Could he go in with the little ones for company until he heals? Give him a hug for me Roxane!

  9. If I were Tongo, I’d bite whomever tried to put me back in with those meanies. They could’ve done serious permanent damage to him, so why put him at risk for that again? Maybe he can be part of the babies group?


  10. Christine, it’s the tip of the penis (glans)that has been damaged. Tongo apparently urinates, so this is already a good thing! Now, we do our best to prevent infection. I just come back from the Refuge and Tongo is recovering slowly by slowly. He’s eating and drinking well. I think he’s just a bit bored as he is now alone in his isolation cage…
    We don’t have adult chimps at the project so far. So, when I said « big » males, I was talking about the eldest of the main group who are between 5 and 6 years old… We still cannot explain what happened this morning and I do cross my fingers Tongo will agree to return into the group once he has completely recovered…
    Happy to read you enjoyed Pasa pictures!

  11. Christine C.

    OMG Roxane, this is terrible. Poor Tongo…as if his little life has not been hard enough! Why would the adult males go at him so fiercely at this point? With part of his penis gone, how will he be able to function, or is it easily fixed. Poor, poor boy, I wish I could just hug him to bits and make him feel safe and happy…though I know he will be getting PLENTY of love and attention from all of you at JACK.

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