Kalu the Chimp

Alex and I got to see something pretty cool the other day – an 89 year old woman being loved and cuddled by a chimpanzee – Pat’s beloved chimpanzee, Kalu!

Pat usually goes to see Kalu every day at 3pm, but because we’re at Fikelela at that time, I asked if she could go in the morning, and of course Pat didn’t say no – and how incredible it was to see!


Pat is one of the very few people in the world who can be in the same area as a grown, wild chimpanzee. Old and wild chimpanzees can be very aggressive, and can bite of both fingers and other body parts…

Pat has had Kalu for about 30 years, and Kalu is about 35 years old, so Pat has known Kalu her (Kalu’s) entire life, which is why Pat can be next to her – and wow – Kalu absolutely adores Pat!

DSC_0225 DSC_0222 There was so much love and affection going on it was absolutely adorable! Look at this wild animal, hugging and kissing Pat – it really was too good to be true.


Kalu used to walk around Pat’s house completely free and slept in Pat’s bed! There are a lot of funny stories of what she’s done; mainly she would strip people completely naked haha!

She is also quite a spoilt chimpanzee, and Pat truly treats her like it’s her granddaughter. She buys her juices, gives her tea and cake, buys her chips and other snacks, and breakfast yoghurts – anything for Kalu! So at the beginning of my stay here, I would take a yoghurt out of the refrigerator, but oh no – that was for Kalu!


Before Pat went to go see her, I had picked a bag of mulberries and Kalu quickly took the bag from Pat and easily climb a tree, where she sat enjoying the berries!

Ah – it was so cool to see an animal be so human like and to show so much love for another person.

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