Photo: Project Chimps

#ChimpChat: Charisse and Brooke

Today’s #ChimpChat is all about Charisse. Charisse was born in 2005 at the University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center and came to live at the Project Chimps sanctuary in September 2016. We turned to our chimpanzee-caregiver Brooke to learn more about Charisse.

The three words Brooke uses to describe Charisse are compassionate, rambunctious, and loyal. Brooke admires Charisse’s endless energy, playfulness, and touching relationship with her identical twin sister, Buttercup.

Charisse and Buttercup’s relationship seems similar to the special bond that identical-twin humans often have. “You can’t talk about one twin without the other. These chimps are two peas in a pod,” says Brooke. The sisters are virtually always in close physical proximity to one another. They share food, groom one another, and sleep right next to each other, often sharing a nest. Charisse comforts Buttercup in times of social tension or when Buttercup seems anxious. “They have a beautiful sisterly bond,” says Brooke. “Just by watching them together you can see how close they are to one another.”

Charisse and her sister are currently the two lowest-ranking individuals in their group, but that may be changing. ”I’ve seen them bonding with Latricia recently, grooming and taking her side when tensions arise,” Brooke explains. “It’s important to have good social standing in their community with a high-ranking chimp,” she says, “Having an ally in Latricia would play well for them if they ever got into a quarrel with the other chimps.”

Charisse is highly intelligent, and can often be found finding opportunities to problem-solve. Her preferred enrichment items are smear boards and puzzle cups. “She loves anything she can manipulate to get what she wants. The more difficult the puzzle, the more stimulating it is for her,” Brooke explains.

If you would like to symbolically adopt Charisse, please visit our Adopt-A-Chimp page here: