Alley, Zee’s foster mother, was taken to the Jane Goodall institute from a private home. Lucky enough to have had a good home she has a steady temper and is easy to handle. She is constantly seen taking care of the babies and was especially kind to the four musketeers when they first arrived. Akeela, Jane’s foster mother, was kept in a small cage. It was first thought that she suffered some neurological condition, as she seemed uncoordinated. At Sweetwaters this was disproved, she was simply very insecure and as her confidence grew this behaviour dissipated. She too loves taking care of the babies.
Akeela is the most experienced foster mum taking care of all new chimpanzees that are introduced to her. Her calm demeanour and tenderness certainly helped little Manno feel at home. At 30 years she has learnt how to patiently get along with everybody barely ever getting caught in conflict. She recently had a health check that included eyesight review, teeth check and respiratory infections and received a clean bill of health.
Alley is very intelligent and the most unpredictable of all the chimpanzees. She is very creative at using tools, and has even been seen trying to teach the rest of the group some of her skills. To receive treats, Alley has learnt to use sign language to communicate with both the caregivers and visitors.