Ep80 Jan van Hooff on love, caring, and reconciliation in chimpanzees

“Not everybody is convinced that a zoo can offer these conditions ... in most zoos, there is a great awareness that this is one of their biggest challenges - to give animals a natural environment in which to develop their natural behaviours" - Jan van Hooff

Jan van Hooff joins us once again to share more stories about the chimpanzees, led by Mama, living at the Royal Burgers Zoo. He shares with us more tales of coalition behaviour in primates from his time with Mama and the Arnhem chimps, during a time when there was a great interest regarding the functions of aggression in the life of social animals.

Jan explores the topic of how social groups are formed and maintained, and the importance of giving and taking in forming a community that benefits all members involved. He discusses how coalitions form, supported by the work of his PhD student Frans de Waal. Jan goes on to retell the development of relationships between the Arnhem Zoo chimpanzees, as observed by Frans, and how these observations went on to inform our current understanding of chimpanzee aggression, bonds and reconciliation.

Jan shares fond memories of the chimpanzee matriarch Mama, and her role as a mediator between the males. He shares stories of the tolerance and caring displayed by Mama throughout her life, which he observed directly as he formed bonds with the chimpanzees. We conclude with a beautiful story of recognition and reunion between long-time friends.

Check out Jan van Hooff’s publications HERE

Listen to the previous podcast from Jan HERE


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