BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A baby female chimpanzee born at the Oklahoma City Zoo in August is now home at the Maryland Zoo!
She will be hand-reared and paired with a surrogate chimp mother, Abby- after the baby’s birth mother was unable to properly care for her, according to a press release from the zoo.
“Hand-raising a baby chimp is a huge undertaking and not one to be taken lightly,” said Erin Grimm, mammal collection and conservation manager for the zoo. “However, we are always happy to help our zoo colleagues, especially when it is in the best interest of the animal in question. This little chimp will be a welcome addition to our troop.”
The infant, who hasn’t been named yet, was born weighing around four pounds to first-time mother Nia, a 12-year-old chimpanzee.
“The birth seemed to be without complication and the baby appeared to be healthy,” stated Pace Frank, lead primate caretaker at the Oklahoma City Zoo. “However, it was quickly apparent that Nia was not adapting to motherhood appropriately and we made the difficult decision to remove and hand-rear the baby while searching for a suitable home with a nurturing surrogate.”
The chimp will bring the zoo’s chimpanzee troop up to 15, which includes one-year-old Lola and ten-month-old Violet.
“As this new baby is integrated into the troop, she will have two companions to play with, which is essential to her development,” continued Grimm. “It’s also important to note that chimp Abby is a proven surrogate mother who has helped raise several other baby chimps without mothers. We are confident in Abby’s mothering skills to help this little one become a solid part of this troop.”
The chimp arrived at the zoo in late September.