Chimpanzee João


Equatorial Africa



Year of birth

1943 - 1948


Young João and Mary were chimpanzees from South Africa’s Boswell Circus and were donated to the Maputo Zoo when they were young. Unfortunately, João’s mate died.

He learned to communicate with a group of yellow baboons in the next room.

Kind people from the local community fed and cared for João during his stay at the zoo.

He is currently at the Chimp Eden Sanctuary in South Africa since 2006.


João was the alpha male in group 2 of primates at Chimp Eden, but since his retirement he has left Thomas to lead the group.

He has gray hair and a bald head, both signs of old age.

Exceptional for an adult primate, he acts as a grandfather for babies. He taught them discipline and Thomas and Cozy learned to raise young ones.

Although João has given up his position as an alpha male, he still plays an important role as a backup for Thomas.