Date of birth: Approx 1990
Place of birth: In the wild
Arrival at MONA: 14 May 2012
She was bought as a baby through an animal dealer on the Ramblas of Barcelona. The owner did not have her on display, but kept her in a nearby home in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Judging from her age at the time, we suspect that she was illegally transported in a container to the port of Barcelona.
Coco´s owner allowed her to live freely in and around the house, as part of the family. Later she was moved to cages built by the owner on his garden grounds. She lived alone until the later arrival of two other chimpanzees, Bea and Tom, who were bought from a circus. Coco lived with Bea and sometimes with Tom. He could not always be with the girls because he would attack them out of frustration and boredom. The former owner had legal permission to keep two of the three chimpanzees. After meeting repeatedly with wildlife experts from FAADA(Foundation of Assistance and Action in the Defence of Animals) and MONA, he agreed to hand them over and promised to help us financially for their lifetime of care.
Coco is a very suspicious and introverted chimpanzee. She has trouble trusting new chimps and caregivers. She pays close attention to everything and has a very concentrated and serious look. On the other hand, she is very smart and loves enrichments that are offered. Every day when presented with new environmental enrichments and challenges, she will research all options and look for things she can manipulate. She is fairly quiet and not easily frustrated.
Right now she is in the process of associations with the family group members, and so far she is not very motivated. She fails to interact, generally avoids any contact, and on occasion even tries to attack group members.
Her social life
She is a bit introverted, not necessarily being shy towards others, but not actively searching out their presence, with the big exception of her best friends, Bea and Cheeta, and her best playmate, Víctor. She generally strolls around on her own, avoiding any kind of problems, ignoring possibilities to interact with others.
- She loves playing with sand piles, balls, tires, and elements that can be moved and/or manipulated.
- She loves going to the other groups’ outdoor enclosure to lie on the grass, explore the structures, taste the foliage and sunbathe in a hammock.
- She does not like potatoes, cucumbers, or tomato soup, but she loves juice, fruit and meat.
- When Coco meets a new caregiver, she likes to spit a mouthful of water, when least expected, in the caregiver’s face (she will wait until the caregiver turns to face her!).
- When Coco first came to Mona, she spent several weeks assessing all the fixtures of the bedrooms and association cages.She tested bolts and locks, making sure nothing was out of place!
She is part of the group we call the Bilinga*.
Bilinga: Nauclea diderrichii is a native tree of Central and part of West Africa. Its natural habitat is the humid forests of subtropical or tropical lowlands and it is threatened by uncontrolled logging by its wood known as BILINGA. This tree produces one of the chimps’ favorite fruits. Even studies have been made of the vocalizations they make when they find a tree full of them!