May 19, 2017

Reflection by: Anya Kochel, Felicia Krausert, Rose Moss, Oscar Senar; Photo taken by Nico Trick

Toti is a middle-aged Ugandan male living in the western part of the country, not even 100 km from the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the leader of the Kanyantale community, which means “place for lions” in the local language, composed of 120 individuals. Toti took power after a fight with the previous leader, Taboo, who had been in charge for seven years. Unlike Toti, who welcomed us into his community with indifference but dominance at the same time, Taboo kept enjoying his breakfast, a platter of figs, unimpressed by our congregation. During our long visit, Toti remained approachable, but also vigilant and protective of his tribe. Toti’s wariness is justified, as he is one of the few remaining chimpanzees in the country. What he might not be aware of is that the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, with help from international organizations, is also protecting his community from extinction.