Tatu's name sign is the knuckles of a "T" hand tapping the opposite shoulder. She was also part of the second research project. Tatu was born on December 30, 1975 at the Institute for Primate Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. She joined the Fouts at Central Washington in 1981, and moved with Loulis to Fauna Foundation in Quebec, Canada in August 2013.
At Fauna Foundation Tatu has made a number of new friends who she enjoys playing with and teasing.
Full Name: Oklahoma Tatu. Oklahoma is her place of birth and Tatu means "three" in Swahili.
Pronunciation: ta' too
Name Sign: “T” tapped on opposite shoulder. Her name sign has no known significance.
Date Of Birth: December 30, 1975.
Place Of Birth: Institute for Primate Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
Early Childhood/Rearing Conditions: Tatu was cross fostered by Drs. Beatrix T. and R. Allen Gardner from 1975 - 1981. She joined the Foutses at Central Washington University in 1981.
Personal: Ever mischievous and playful, Tatu loves to talk to her chimpanzee and human companions, as well as to herself, and is persistent and focused when she decides she wants something. Tatu is the most articulate signer of the chimpanzees at the CHCI. She often signs BLACK, her favorite color, and also uses the sign to refer to things she really likes. Her interactions are often playful and sometimes teasing. She is often the timekeeper of the family and has been known to remind caregivers of meal times, blanket time, time to go out, etc. She also very aware of seasonal celebrations. She has reminded us of Christmas (SWEET TREE), Dar’s birthday (ICE CREAM DAR), and Thanksgiving (BIRD MEAT). In her current home at Fauna Foundation, she keeps herself entertained with many new companions and continues to chat about the world around her.
Favorite Activities: Tatu enjoys signing activities, chatting with her chimpanzee and human companions, teasing, and signing to herself. She is always ready for the challenge of a food puzzle, and can frequently be found swinging on the hoses and tires and playing TICKLE or CHASE. Tatu enjoys being outside, rain or shine. She often asks for makeup, hair clips and catalogs, especially Hickory Farms with all those cheeses, meats and crackers.
Favorite Foods: Dairy products are among Tatu’s favorite food items, especially cheese, which she often signs about. Unfortunately, she is lactose intolerant and her intake of dairy products must be limited. Bananas, carrots, coffee, and tea, are others that she particularly enjoys. She signs about BIRD MEAT around Thanksgiving and has occasionally been observed to take enough turkey to fill both her hands and a foot.