Chimpanzee

Funny Faces from Zuri the Baby Chimpanzee

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Seven-month-old Chimpanzee Zuri, born at Australia’s Monarto Zoo on August 21, is growing up healthy and developing her personality.  And on a recent morning, she practiced making funny faces for the camera! 

Facial expressions are an important method of communication within Chimpanzee troops, and Zuri appears to be preparing for her role within the troop.  For example, “grinning” Chimpanzees are actually expressing fear.  Bared teeth, pursed lips, kisses, and other gestures express aggression, submission, and affection.

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Photo credits: Dave Mattner for Monarto Zoo

Zuri was born to first-time mother Zombi and her baby pictures were shared on ZooBorns here.  Infant Chimpanzees spend the first several months of life clinging to mom, then begin to cautiously explore their surroundings.  The birth of a baby is a significant event within the life of a Chimpanzee troop, enriching the lives of all members.  Though Zombi will care for Zuri for about five years, other females within the troop will gain mothering experience by helping care for the little one.

Wild Chimpanzee populations in equatorial Africa have declined by about 90% in the last two decades due to large-scale habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat and the pet trade.  Zoo births are important to the future of the species because they preserve the genetic diversity of the captive population.

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Tumbili Loves Shangwe at Artis Zoo

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Once again Dutch photographer extraordinaire, A.J. Haverkamp, has shared some amazing photos of Chimpanzees at the Artis Royal Zoo. This time he has captured some tender moments between the Artis Zoo's new baby, Shangwe, and alpha male, Tumbili (Billy for short). 

While Chimpanzee groups are led by a dominant male, this individual is often not the biggest or strongest. Rather the alpha male is the best at forging relationships within the group and building alliances, so other group members will support him in times of conflict. Sometimes this maneuvering can be downright manipulative, with the alpha male turning group members against would-be challengers. Sound like any other species you know...?

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Shangwe with Mom 2Photo credit: A.J. Haverkamp

Wonderful photos of Shangwe with Mom below the fold

Continue reading "Tumbili Loves Shangwe at Artis Zoo" »


Baby Chimp Gets a New Family Through Compassion and Collaboration Between AZA Zoos

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The Oklahoma City Zoo is known nationally for their capacity to foster infant Chimpanzees, and now there is a new member to their troop. Seven-month-old Ruben arrived on July 30, after being hand-raised at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. Ruben's mother, Rukiya, died just 24 hours after giving birth during a medical proceedure. It was a rough start for baby Ruben both to lose his mom.  After being treated roughly by his biological dad and not be accepted by that zoo's surrogate mom, it was apparent: Ruben needed a new home.

Those who had given him round-the-clock care at Lowry Park Zoo accompanied Ruben when it came time to move, and stayed to monitor his progress during the first 72 hours of transition. And the effort has been a success! Just weeks later, Ruben is blending well and being accepted by his new chimp family. Starting with Kito, his surrogate mom, the baby has gradually been introduced to Mwami, the dominant male, and three others in the group.

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Photo Credit: Oklahoma City Zoo

Our zoo has had two successful Chimpanzee surrogate situations, and we are gaining a good reputation among accredited zoos for it," said Laura Bottaro, Oklahoma City Zoo Mammal Curator. The first occurred in 2008, the second in 2011.

Read more after the fold:

Continue reading "Baby Chimp Gets a New Family Through Compassion and Collaboration Between AZA Zoos" »


First-ever Baby Chimp Born at Monarto Zoo

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Australia's Monarto Zoo welcomed the first Chimpanzee baby to be born at the zoo in its 29-year history.  The yet to be named and sexed baby was born in the early hours of Tuesday, August 21, to first-time mother Zombi.

Acting Senior Keeper of Primates, Laura Hanley, said, “It’s extremely enriching for great apes to have infants and it adds to the social wellbeing of the group to have a range of ages amongst the troop.  Having an infant in the group also allows Monarto’s other females to learn vital mothering skills.”

The baby will cling tightly to Zombi for the first three to four months of its life, spending its time feeding and sleeping. As the little one starts to gain strength and confidence it will begin to explore its environment with Zombi taking care of it exclusively for the first five years of its life.

Zoos South Australia Head of Life Sciences, Peter Clark, said the birth is not only a wonderful achievement for Monarto Zoo; it’s also an important birth for the regional Chimpanzee breeding program.  “This birth represents a first for the region and provides a completely unique set of genetics to the Australasian breeding program,” Peter said.

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Females Chimpanzees only give birth every five to six years after an eight and a half month gestation period.  Chimpanzees are found in moist and dry forests and savannah woodlands in Equatorial Africa; It’s estimated that wild populations of the endangered Chimpanzee have decreased by approximately 90% in the past 20 years due to habitat destruction and degradation, poaching for the bush meat trade and the pet trade.

Monarto Zoo is the largest open-range zoo in the world, developed over 1,000 hectares of fauna and flora and the only zoological park to be completely power neutral.

Photo Credits:  Dave Mattner for Monarto Zoo


New Baby Chimp for Los Angeles Zoo

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The Los Angeles Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby Chimpanzee -- their first since 1999. The new addition was welcomed to the chimp family of 15 (one of the largest troops in the nation) on March 6. Her mother, Gracie, has proven to be a wonderful and caring mother. She even allows other females to carry and help care for the baby. As of May 18, Gracie and her little one can be seen by visitors.

With such a large chimpanzee family, the LA Zoo's primate staff is held in high regard for it’s care of chimpanzees, acting as a model for the Species Survival Plan for other zoos. Chimpanzees are currently on the endangered species list. Wild populations in the African forest have decreased because of foresting, hunting, commercial exportation, and collection for scientific research. Although chimpanzees are protected in 34 national parks and reserves, laws can be difficult to enforce in remote regions.

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Photo Credits: Tad Motoyama/Los Angeles Zoo


Belfast Zoo Celebrates First Chimpanzee Birth in 15 Years!

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Belfast Zoo is celebrating the arrival of the first Chimpanzee to be born at the zoo since 1997. On March 17, little Lucy came into the world to mother Lizzie, and father, Andy.  

Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, is delighted with the latest arrival, “We had been looking forward to celebrating Lizzie’s 40th birthday this summer and it was a wonderful surprise to discover her pregnancy. She has been a wonderful mother in the past and this time is no exception. Lewis, Kim, Phoebe, Sophie and Andy are also excited about the new arrival and are paying Lizzie and Lucy extra attention. Our visitors are always fascinated by the chimpanzees, I think, in part, because we recognize so much of ourselves in them. Humans and chimpanzees share 98% of the same DNA!”

Chimpanzees originate from Western Central Africa and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) believes that chimpanzees are facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Populations have declined by more than 66% in the last 30 years due to deforestation, hunting and many other factors. It is therefore imperative that zoos play an active role in the conservation of this species. 

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

Read more about Belfast Zoo's conservation work with chimpanzees after the jump:

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New Pictures! North Carolina Zoo's Baby Chimp

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We covered the arrival of baby Ebi, a female chimpanzee born at the North Carolina Zoo on January 16, on ZooBorns a few weeks ago. You can read all the details and see her earliest pictures there. In these new photos, little Ebi looks out at her new world from the safety of her mother's arms and eventually drifts off for a nap.  

The baby chimp will be on exhibit occasionally, depending on the weather and her acclimation to the exhibit.

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Photo Credit:Tom Gillespie/NC Zoo 


It's a Girl! Baby Chimpanzee Born at North Carolina Zoo

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A baby chimpanzee was born at the North Carolina Zoo Monday evening. The little female has been named Ebi. This is the second baby for Mom Tammy, a 41-year-old female, who had previously given birth to Maki in March 1994.

Both mother and daughter are doing fine. Tammy is caring for her infant without any intervention from zoo staff members. The two are not on exhibit and will not be in the foreseeable future due to the cold weather and the infant-rearing process. According to General Curator Ken Reininger, it will be at least summer before the two will be on exhibit.  

Ebi's arrival makes her the 12th chimp birth at the park since its opening in 1974 and the second since August 2010. The North Carolina Zoo's chimp troop is one of the largest in U.S. zoos.  

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 Photo Credit: Jb Minter/N.C. Zoo

 


Nori The Explorer

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Last month, keepers began introducing the North Carolina Zoo's baby Chimp, Nori, to her outdoor exhibit. Born August 2 at the Zoo, Nori is just beginning the process of learning to be outside with other members of her troop. As she adjusts to these new surroundings, she will be outside intermittently. Because Nori's appearance will depend on many factors outside the keepers' control, visitors will have to depend on good timing and a little bit of luck to catch an early glimpse of the infant. Keepers hope to have Nori on exhibit full time by late Spring.

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Photo credits: thezoodude


Adopt Baby Nori the Chimpanzee at the NC Zoo

As covered in August on ZooBorns, baby Nori's mom could not properly take care of her and North Carolina Zoo staff made the difficult decision to hand-raise her. Now three months old, baby Nori is doing well and the North Carolina Zoo Society is offering a special adoption package to commemorate this very special baby's birth. The $30 adoption package contains a copy of Nori’s birth certificate, a fact sheet about the young female, a button commemorating her birth and a photo. Proceeds from this special adoption will help support Nori and her companions at the N.C. Zoo as well as their wild relatives. 

DO NOT MISS THE EXCEPTIONAL VIDEO AT THE BOTTOM

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Baby nori the chimpanzee at north carolina zoo 1

With 13 members in the troop, the N.C. Zoo has the largest chimp collection in any U.S. zoo. The zoo also has a strong conservation presence in Africa and supports conservation efforts in great ape range countries. We here at ZooBorns think adopting Nori would make a special gift for any animal lover this holiday season.

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It's a long but exceptional video. Skip around if you get impatient, but don't miss it.

To learn more about adopting Nori, call the N.C. Zoo Society at 336-879-7250 or visit this site for more information.