Chimps celebrate birthday milestones

Chimps celebrate birthday milestones

#Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 18th March 2014 by Media Relations

The past month has been a busy one for Taronga’s chimpanzee community, with two of our younger chimps celebrating birthdays.

Youngest female, Sembe has just turned six years old, but can still be seen trying to hitch a ride on mother Shiba’s back!

One of our adolescent males, Furahi also passed a birthday milestone, turning 11. These next few years will be important for Furahi, as he continues to develop and acquires social and sexual maturity.

Taronga’s youngest chimpanzee, Fumo continues to develop happily and can often be seen riding on mother Kuma’s back, clinging on with tight little hands. He has also been reaching out and grasping objects, bringing them to his mouth in the same way that human babies tend to explore new things by sticking them in their mouths!

Keepers and veterinary staff have also been busy conducting the annual GAs (general anaesthetics) on our chimp community. Procedures such as these take a lot of careful planning and coordination.

This year a few of our chimps needed special dental work, so a specialist animal dentist was called in to perform these procedures. Did you know a chimpanzee’s canine can grow to over three inches long?

We make the most of these annual health checks, conducting thorough examinations of each of our chimpanzees, including x-rays, ultrasounds and vaccinations, to ensure they are all healthy and fighting fit.

Once the Senior Vets are happy the health check is complete, the chimps are returned to a nest of soft shredded paper in their night area.

As we say goodbye to summer and prepare ourselves for the cold weather that lies ahead, we are content to know that our chimpanzee community is happy and most importantly, healthy. And with the continued care and expertise of our Primate Team and the help of veterinary staff at Taronga’s Wildlife Hospital, we know it will remain this way for many years to come.

- Primate Keeper, Simon Hersee