There’s a baby boom at Monarto Zoo, with keepers celebrating the safe arrival of another baby chimpanzee!
Third-time mum Zombi gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday night, marking the second chimp born at the zoo this year.
Monarto Zoo Keeper Hayley Lewis said keepers are absolutely over the moon to have another beautiful baby girl born into the troop.
“On Sunday night, Zombi began showing signs of labour and we are very pleased to announce the safe arrival of a healthy baby girl,” Hayley said.
“Zombi is a truly amazing chimp, she’s head female of our troop, a superstar mum to seven-year-old Zuri and four-year-old Enzi, and she’s doing a wonderful job of caring for her newest addition.
“Zuri and Enzi are very curious of their new sibling, and have been seen gently touching and even pressing their lips to the little one’s head.
“It’s an exciting time for the troop with baby Hope arriving earlier this year and now another little girl joining the troop. It’s extremely enriching for great apes to have infants, and having a range of ages among the troop adds to the overall positive well-being.
“There has been a baby boom at Monarto Zoo in the past few weeks, with the birth of a Zebra foal last week, two Scimitar-horned Oryx and a number of Barbary sheep to name a few, so it’s the perfect time to visit!”
The arrival of the newborn girl marks an important milestone in chimpanzee conservation.
“To have not one, but two, baby chimps is incredibly exciting for Monarto Zoo, but it’s also a vital achievement for chimp conservation and the wider Australasian breeding program,” Hayley said.
“More chimps are hunted for the illegal bush meat trade than are born each year, causing populations to plummet in the wild.
“Couple that with the fact that humans are destroying their habitats and it’s easy to see why these special animals – one of our closest cousins – are being pushed towards extinction.
“This baby girl is a step towards changing the fortunes for the species.”
Monarto Zoo is home to an amazing troop of now 12 ambassador chimpanzees.
As a conservation charity, Zoos SA works to help save chimps from extinction through involvement in international breeding programs and by supporting Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Visitors can make a difference to chimpanzees simply by donating old phones to Monarto Zoo.
The funds generated through their refurbishment and recycling directly supports the on-ground work at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone and the Jane Goodall Institute Australia.