Thirteen Chimps have been born at the Tulsa Zoo in the last 65 years, but that doesn’t make the newest baby any less special. A healthy male infant arrived on November 23 and was welcomed by the entire troop.
Mom Jodi was carefully monitored by zoo keepers during her 32-week pregnancy. Her care included routine ultrasounds to make sure the baby was developing normally.
Chimpanzees live in complex social groups, so the new baby is an important addition to Tulsa’s troop. The troop includes the new infant, his mother Jodi, Morris, Hope, Susie, Bernsen, and Vindi. After the first few months of the baby’s life, which will be spent clinging to Jodi, other members of the troop will participate in the baby’s care.
The birth of this baby was recommended by the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is administered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The SSP seeks to maintain genetically healthy populations of zoo-managed species, with an emphasis on animals that are endangered in the wild.
Chimpanzees are native to West Africa and Central Africa, where populations are under pressure from poaching and habitat loss. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.