The Famous Chimps of Gombe

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THE “F” FAMILY

Flo (approx. 1929-1972)

Flo was the dominant matriarch when Jane arrived in Gombe. First appearing in Jane’s camp in 1962, Flo was always accompanied by her daughter Fifi and son Figan. In addition to these two offspring, Flo also had an older son named Faben and eventually gave birth to two more: Flint and Flame. Flo was a strong and easygoing mother, always giving her children food when they seemed to want it and tenderly grooming them. Though physically she appeared somewhat frail, Jane writes that Flo was “tough as nails.” Easily recognizable by the notch in her right ear, Flo and her progeny gave Jane access and insight into the intricacies of chimpanzee family life. When Flo and her youngest son Flint died crossing a stream in 1972, Britain’s Sunday Times published an obituary for her. Jane says she cried when she heard the news.

About Author

Elodie served as an intern for the Jane Goodall Institute during the summer of 2015 in the Office of the Founder-Global. Elodie's internship experience included supporting Dr. Jane Goodall's global tour through online outreach, social media and blogging.

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  • Anne Blankenship

    I remember watching these programs. Wasn’t it young Flint who was maladjusted, and with his mother Flo killed and ate a baby chimpanzee? And after finding his mother Flo dead in the stream, wasn’t it Flint who was so grief-stricken and unable to adjust that he made a bed of leaves in a tree and stayed there until he died? That is the narrative I remember, unless it was a contrived story to fit some film footage.

  • abram pretorius

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  • Scott Alsop

    Sparrow maybe Leaky and Worzles sister?