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Catching Up with 4-month-old Alizeti

Sedgwick County Zoo excitedly welcomed a new member of the chimpanzee troop – a baby girl born August 20. Her name is Alizeti which means “sunflower” in Swahili.

Chimpanzee Chuckie gave birth in the presence of the troop during the early morning hours. The animal care team at SCZ observed mom and baby for a short time before coming to the conclusion that Chuckie was not exhibiting appropriate maternal behavior. In order to give Alizeti the best chance of survival, the team made the life-saving decision to remove her from the troop and provide human-assisted rearing during this first crucial stage of her development.

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Human-assisted rearing involves round-the-clock care and attention for baby, designed to mirror how a chimp mother would naturally care for her infant. Just as mother chimpanzees never let baby out of their arms, caretakers will do the same until Alizeti is developmentally strong enough to be reunited with the troop. At that point, she will be raised by a foster mother with support of the rest of the chimpanzee family.