Seven-month-old Chimpanzee Zuri, born at Australia’s Monarto Zoo on August 21, is growing up healthy and developing her personality. And on a recent morning, she practiced making funny faces for the camera!
Facial expressions are an important method of communication within Chimpanzee troops, and Zuri appears to be preparing for her role within the troop. For example, “grinning” Chimpanzees are actually expressing fear. Bared teeth, pursed lips, kisses, and other gestures express aggression, submission, and affection.
Photo credits: Dave Mattner for Monarto Zoo
Zuri was born to first-time mother Zombi and her baby pictures were shared on ZooBorns here. Infant Chimpanzees spend the first several months of life clinging to mom, then begin to cautiously explore their surroundings. The birth of a baby is a significant event within the life of a Chimpanzee troop, enriching the lives of all members. Though Zombi will care for Zuri for about five years, other females within the troop will gain mothering experience by helping care for the little one.
Wild Chimpanzee populations in equatorial Africa have declined by about 90% in the last two decades due to large-scale habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat and the pet trade. Zoo births are important to the future of the species because they preserve the genetic diversity of the captive population.Related articles