Hi! Welcome to our site! We decided to call this blog "Yum Chapatis," because we look forward to eating lots of yummy, doughy, chapatis this year :) For now, here's a yummy recipe: click here. Throughout the year we'll try to post photos and updates to yumchapatis.com. Send some love our way!

Thursday, December 31, 2009


December 5, 2009

A few mornings ago while following a group of chimpanzees, I was shocked to learn that little Obama, a 2 year-old chimpanzee, died during the night. We spotted Rosa, Obama’s mother, around 8AM. Rosa was still carrying her dead son who was hanging lifelessly in her arms. There’s currently a respiratory infection going around the chimpanzee community – as several of the chimps are coughing and sneezing. Obama had been coughing for several months – and he likely died as a result of his illness. Interestingly, Obama’s mother never immigrated out of her natal group (female chimpanzees usually leave their birth group when they start mating to avoid inbreeding). Thus, many of the researchers here suspect that Obama may have had a compromised immune system due to inbreeding. Sadly, Rosa has had three babies – and all whom have died young.

Rosa carried Obama’s body around for two full days and nights after his death. She appeared reluctant to let go of him. By the end of the first day, Obama became too heavy for Rosa to carry (as babies would normally hold on and support themselves somewhat), so Rosa began to drag his body. It was all very sad to watch. On the third morning after Obama’s death, two veterinarians darted Rosa to retrieve Obama’s body for a post-mortem exam. It’s hard to imagine what Rosa must have thought when she woke up and saw that her baby was gone. Below are photos and a short video that I took of Rosa dragging Obama on the day after his death:

December 30, 2009 – Update on Rosa

Rosa has already started swelling around her genitals. This means that she will soon start mating and be able to conceive another child. While no real mating has occurred yet – several males started mounting Rosa just days after Obama’s death!

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