Date of birth: We believe in 1987
Place of birth: We believe in the Wild
Arrival at MONA: July 2005

Tico’s story

When he arrived at MONA, many aspects of his past were unknown but we knew that he had arrived illegally from an African country and was acquired as a pet. His first owner intended to rent Tico to an animal trainer as a baby, but Tico escaped or was abandoned. A person found him roaming in the mountains. He was relocated to a zoo park in Maresme, where he lived alone until the age of 18. His move to MONA occurred because the park was closed for family reasons and all the animals had to be urgently relocated or put to sleep.


Tico had a complete lack of social behavior skills due to having lived alone for so many years.
Everyday it was common for him to have outbursts of anger and constantly hit the bars. He was never aggressive with other chimps, but threatened his human caregivers again and again throughout the day. Eventually, he improved with the caregivers and began to react positively with them, watching them and demanding their attention. Although he was not aggressive with his chimpanzee group, he avoided any contact or relationship with any of them due to his inability to understand them. It took more than four years to integrate him into the group.


Physically Tico is impressive, but he is still a very unsociable chimpanzee. He generates no problems or fights, but tries to be invisible and avoid confrontation as much as possible. He spends many hours a day at the top of a tower covered with a cloth, but since 2013 we have seen a vast improvement and he is beginning to venture more freely through the enclosure and warmly greet his companions each morning. Also his mood has softened and we often see him in the mornings playing chase with Nico and Victor and sometimes approaching the fence to see visitors go by.

His social life

Tico belongs to the Bilinga group, socializes very little and seems not to have learned yet that he’s a chimpanzee. Despite his large size and strength, he tends not get into trouble and generally goes unnoticed.


  • Tico loves fruit but can be a little fussy with some more exotic types.
  • He is a big fan of the rice balls given everyday at the end of dinner.
  • He also loves being covered with a cloth for a little shelter or shade when in the outside enclosure.

Fun Facts

  • When Tico started to go outside, he didn’t understand what the grass was, and it scared him so much that after touching it, he pressed his hands against his chest and walked away.
  • Every night Tico makes a big nest in the same corner, next to the tunnel that leads to the outside enclosure.
  • When Tico is interested in something, he always places his index finger under his lip in a very thoughtful gesture.

Tico’s group

He 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!

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