BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Meet the newest addition to the Maryland Zoo family.
The two-week-old female chimpanzee made her debut Friday at the zoo. She was born to 29-year-old Bunny.
The infant spent the last two weeks bonding with her mother in the Chimpanzee Forest. She spent a lot of time cradled in moms arms, sleeping and nursing.
“Bunny is of course very familiar with all areas of the Chimpanzee Forest,” said Pam Carter, Chimpanzee Forest area manager. “What we want to observe is how she uses the space with her newborn and ensure that she remains comfortable with her baby in new situations. So far we are really pleased with their progress.”
Zoo guests can get a glimpse of Bunny and her newborn when they visit the zoo! Meanwhile, the staff continues to monitor the chimp’s progress.
“We want to be as hands-off as possible to allow mom and baby plenty of time to develop their relationship. Just like with human moms, there is a steep learning curve for both the baby and the mother in the first few days as they both adjust to this new way of life,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager.
Bunny is a first-time mother and is paired with a smaller group of chimps to help her focus on caring for the baby.
“As Bunny becomes more confident and the baby becomes stronger, more members of the troop will be introduced to them,” said Cantwell.
The Zoo’s Chimpanzee Forest team is currently in the process of coming up with name options for the newest addition. Next week, the Zoo will announce the names and offer public voting in an online naming contest.
In honor of the big debut, the Zoo will offer “Everyone’s a Kid Day,” Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21. All Zoo tickets will be sold at the children’s price of $17.99. The promotion is available only at the Zoo’s Main Gate.
Learn more about the baby on the zoo’s website.