Maya has only been with us since 2007. Although Maya is quite adored by all the chimps here at Fauna, I’ve never really been able to determine who she likes the most. She has followers in Binky, Jethro and Toby. She seems to enjoy spending time with Petra, but most of all loves to be with Spock. He is who she looks for always, and always will, they have been together all of their lives and that is a bond that can never be broken.
Maya is a beautiful chimpanzee, but a troubled one. Her years in a zoo and being cross-fostered as a youngster have left her confused and angry. Maya suffers from an ulcer and serious stomach problems; she self-mutilates and in general seems sad. I cannot say that I have ever seen her play. She grooms, gets groomed and lives a social life, but to laugh and play, not really. There is still something missing in her life, and one day I do hope we help her find something that makes her happier.
There are many places in the chimp house Maya enjoys and will observe all human activity. I would say that most of all she loves to be outdoors and always enjoys a nice cup of tea or three. Little pleasures I know, but they are pleasures for her.
Maya has always been the low-ranking chimpanzee in her group. In the early years at the zoo, Maya had another companion and friend named Merlin. So it was Maya and Merlin, Spock and Sophie paired up, and when Merlin died, it left Maya as the third wheel in Spock and Sophie’s life. They were very close and when Sophie came to Fauna, it was easy to see she was the alpha of the group and Maya was not.
Sophie passed away soon after her move to Fauna and therefore she was not there to help Maya fit into Fauna’s family of chimpanzees. She had Spock to depend on and very soon after Binky became very close to her also. She seems to enjoy time with Toby, and of course Jethro. Introductions to Rachel and Chance have been difficult, their emotional problems tend to hinder these new friendships, but they have interactions with Maya through protected areas. Maya gets along quite well with Petra and that is wonderful.
So, for now her relationships with Fauna’s male population are quite secure, but as she knows all too well, it is a bond with the girls that secures your fate and future.
Each day Maya feels she belongs more and each day I hope her life gets better. She has many human friends and no doubt works on relationships with her chimpanzee neighbours daily and of late, she has expressed great interest in getting to know Tatu.
Maya is strong, intelligent and in control. Hopefully one day she will relax more, and understand that she is very special to all of us and that we have great empathy for the different and troubled life she’s led and that we love her.