During The Leakey Foundation 2011 Annual Auction and Dinner, Foundation Trustee Mrs. Carolyn Farris bid on and won the "naming rights" for the next chimpanzee born at the Fongoli site in Senegal. Fongoli, which is run by Leakey Grantee Jill Pruetz, is home to a unique group of chimpanzees that have adapted to living in a savanna environment, often seen by Pruetz and her team hunting bush babies with "spears". Mrs. Farris chose the name "Pistache" for the newest male chimp at Fongoli, born to Natasha sometime in April of this year.

In a letter sent to the Foundation, Mrs. Farris remarked:

"I would like to name Natasha’s baby “Pistache” (French for pistachio nut), after my long hair Chihuahua. I adopted her from the Helen Woodward Animal Center and she was named after a character in a book. The chain of events that led to her adoption started on Bastille Day, so I thought a French name would be appropriate for her. The name is pronounced Pee-stash. My little dog is popular with everyone she meets, as she is loving, cuddly and playful. She is also tall for a Chihuahua, just as Natasha and her son are tall."

You can read more about Natasha and Pistache in Dr. Pruetz's newest post on the Fongoli Chimps Blog. Once there are photos taken of Pistache, we will be sure to post them!

Above photo courtesy of Kambiz Kamrani, editor of primatology.net and anthropology.net

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AuthorBeth Green