Critically Endangered Chimpanzee Gives Birth At UK Zoo
In some incredible news to brighten up your Sunday, a critically endangered Western chimpanzee has given birth at Chester Zoo.
Mandy, a 43-year-old chimp at the zoo, gave birth to the little bundle of joy on Friday after an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy.
Zookeepers photographed Mandy cradling her newborn - whose gender it is too early to establish - and shared a video of the adorable scenes online.
Andy Lenihan, team manager of the primates section at Chester Zoo, said in a statement: "Mandy is a wonderful mum. She's bonded instantly with her new baby and can be seen protectively cradling it in her left arm at all times.
"It's a little too soon to tell if her new arrival is male or female as a newborn chimpanzee will remain in the arms of mum for several months until they develop the confidence to start exploring independently.
"Most importantly though, it's bright eyed, alert and getting stronger by the day."
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He added: "A new arrival always creates a lot of excitement - it's a real extended-family affair as many of the females in the group often want to help to take care of the newcomer while, for some of the juveniles, seeing a mum with a new baby is a completely new experience."
Currently, the Western chimpanzee are critically endangered. Thought to have only 18,000 left in the wild, they are the first subspecies of chimp to be added to the endangered list.
Their biggest threats are hunting as part of the illegal bushmeat trade and also habitat loss.
Mike Jordan, animal and plant director at the zoo, added: "We're incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the group - it's a hugely significant addition and a big boost for this species.
"The chimpanzees here at Chester are a key part of the international efforts working to ensure there's a viable safety-net population of these critically endangered animals."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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