HAVANA, March 26th (Univision)Havana biologist Marta Llanes has spent the last year raising two baby chimps in her Havana apartment. Llanes says she’ll miss them when theyreturn to Havana zoo, and worries about their future. Hand raised chimps have difficulty socializing with their own kind.
A 62-year-old Havana zoo biologist, Marta Llanes Torres, has spent the last year raising two baby chimpanzees in her fifth floor Havana apartment – as if they were her own children.
But the monkey business is coming to an end.
Now a year old, the chimps – half brother and sister, Anumá and Ada – have become too much of a handful for their caregiver. Adorable as they may be, Llanes plans to return them soon to the Havana zoo.
The chimps were taken in by Llanes because their mothers would not breastfeed them, a not uncommon occurrence in captivity.
It’s a full time job, and Llanes is something of an expert. Anumá and Ada are the 35th and 36th chimps she has cared for.
Llanes allowed photographer Enrique de la Osa to chart the chimps’ progress over the course of the last 12 months during regular visits to her house.
Unlike cats and dogs and other house pets, Anumá and Ada depend on Llanes for everything and can’t be left on their own. She changes diapers, prepares all their meals and organizes bedtime.
The chimps sleep with Llanes in her bed, but Ada, the more restless of the two, needs only five hours a night and is usually awake by 5a.m.
“She’s very pretty but she’s very naughty,” said Llanes, in a recent mid-afternoon phone interview. “Right now she is hitting Anumá, who is trying to sleep. She wants him to play with her.”
By age one chimps are already physically strong and can grow aggressive.