Taronga Zoo Sydney has welcomed the successful birth of a baby Chimpanzee, whose mother was introduced two years ago from Givskud Zoo, Denmark. The baby Chimp, born Tuesday 14 November at 10:45am after only a brief labour, is showing healthy signs and a strong bond with mother Ceres. This is the first birth in 24 years that brings new genetics to Taronga Zoo Sydney.
Although Ceres is not a first-time mother, this is her first baby born at Taronga Zoo Sydney, and she began cleaning and feeding her baby soon after the birth. News of the birth has also been welcomed by the other Chimpanzees in Taronga’s community.
Chimpanzees live across central and western Africa, and are listed as endangered with as few as 150,000 remaining in the wild. Significant threats to Chimpanzees include poaching as well as disease such as Ebola, which has killed tens of thousands of great apes.
The birth of this baby Chimpanzee is significant for Taronga Zoo Sydney, as well as the Australasian region. This is the first successful birth after the introduction of new females from zoos in Denmark and Poland to ensure genetic diversity across the region.
Senior Primate Keeper Richard Buzas said that keepers are yet to formally identify the sex of the baby as Ceres has been instinctively protective of her newborn.
“Ceres is doing all the right things, feeding and caring for her baby, although given how close she keeps the baby to her, and that Ceres’ sister Naomi has been protective of her older sister and the new baby, we haven’t yet had been able to have a close look to see if it’s a boy or a girl,” said Richard.
“We’ve had a few glimpses, so we feel confident at this early stage that it’s a girl,” Richard said.
“Once the sex is confirmed, we will give the baby a name which reflects its African heritage that also begins with the letter ‘C’ to show the Chimp’s relationship with Ceres,” he said.
The birth of this Chimp is an opportunity for keen-eyed guests to come to Taronga Zoo Sydney, and understand how they can help Chimps in the wild by supporting Taronga’s wildlife conservation.
Taronga Zoo Sydney’s summer opening hours are 9:30am – 5:00pm. Guests may save up to 20% by purchasing tickets online at Taronga.org.au.