Posted on 13th July 2019 by Media Relations
Taronga Conservation Society Australia renowned chimpanzee group has welcomed a tiny new addition to experienced mother Shiba - just in time for World Chimpanzee Day which is taking place on July 14.
The new baby whose name is Safiri and mother are doing extremely well despite the crisp weather. Safiri has been spotted suckling her mother’s milk and is growing stronger every day, with Safiri even attempting to hold her own head up. Taronga now has 21 chimpanzees in their dynamic group with the oldest chimpanzee named Spitter going on 60 next year.
‘Having another little girl really helps us balance out our group and having Sabeli our one and a half year old as a playmate will really help with Safiri’s growth and development’ Primate Keeper Janet said.
Mother Shiba is a very experienced mother and is extremely protective, keen-eye visitors may spot Safiri’s tiny head or hand and feet occasional poking out from Shiba’s embrace. As the days pass there will be more opportunities to catch a glimpse of the youngster as Shiba will start to swing Safiri across her back rather than cradling her in front of her chest.
Chimpanzees are humans’ nearest relatives sharing over 98.5 % of the same DNA. Sadly they are becoming increasingly endangered in the wild from habitat loss and the bushmeat and illegal pet trades.
‘Chimpanzees are endangered as we are mining for a mineral called coltan, coltan is found is Chimpanzee habitat in Central and West Africa. We actually use it in our mobile phones, so you can imagine that we all have some coltan in our pockets or in our handbags at this very point in time’ Primate Keeper Janet said.
Taronga Conservation Society has an ongoing partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia in an effort to encourage visitors to recycle their old mobile phones, through the program ‘They’re Calling on You’
You too can help support chimpanzee conservation through simple actions such as recycling your old mobile phones at Taronga Zoo Sydney during their experience or by signing up at Taronga.org.au
Safiri joins other adorable baby animals at Taronga Zoo Sydney, right in the middle of winter school holidays, including the three playful Sumatran Tiger cubs who have become active and confident in their own feet since their debut.