Guinea’s oldest chimpanzee and one of the last members of a world-renowned vulnerable community died in solitude at age 71, the Environment Ministry said.
Fana, a female chimpanzee born around 1951, was part of a troop that gained worldwide fame for its incredible skill set.
The small monkey community lives in a forest around the village of Bossou, in the extreme south-east of the country.
Scientists have traveled to this remote location for decades to study chimpanzees’ remarkable use of stone hammers and anvils to crack nuts – the most sophisticated act ever observed in humanity’s closest genetic relative.
However, Fana’s death reduces the number of Bossou chimps to just six or seven. Half are females, although two are no longer able to reproduce.
Fana has shown signs of exhaustion in recent months, the Environment Ministry announced on Facebook on Tuesday.
She has been paralyzed in her left upper limb since a severe fall nearly 25 years ago and has long since stopped climbing trees.
She lived alone when she became less mobile. Her body was found on September 19 and she was buried the next day in the presence of residents.
Bossou monkeys have a unique relationship with villagers. Great apes live in the wild, but share territory and resources with locals, who protect them and believe they are reincarnated ancestors.
In 2003, the Bossou group of chimpanzees was relatively stable at around 21 animals. But that year the group lost seven of its members to the flu.
It was also influenced by human activities in the area.
The local population traditionally engages in slash-and-burn agriculture, and while a 320-hectare block of forest around Bossou has been preserved, deforestation around it has isolated it from the rest of the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, where more numerous communities reside. of chimpanzees.