Chennai

Chennai’s Vandalur zoo welcomes baby chimpanzee

Gowri, the chimpanzee, is very protective of her child, says official.  

On June 9, the star chimpanzee couple, Gowri and Gombe, at Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur, welcomed a baby.

“Both Gowri and her child are healthy. We have increased the quantity of fruits she gets. The feed is tailor-made by vets to suit the nursing mother’s needs,” says Naga Sathish Gidijala, Deputy Director of AAZP.

“Gowri is very protective of her child. She is nursing the baby, and does not let anyone else hold it,” he adds, explaining why they don’t yet know the gender of the baby chimpanzee.

While the mother is always with the baby, the father is kept in a separate night house.

While the mother is always with the baby, the father is kept in a separate night house.  

While the mother is always with the baby, the father is kept in a separate night house, a general practice followed to avoid infighting. Baby chimpanzees are known to breastfeed for up to four or five years

The parents, 23-year-old Gowri and 28-year-old Gombe, were brought to Chennai from the Singapore Zoo in 2005. “This is a prized occurrence. There are not many instances like this in India or even abroad,” says Naga Sathish.

Endemic to the African continent, the species is endangered.

Endemic to the African continent, the species is endangered.  

The baby brings up the chimpanzee count in the zoo up to three. In 2015, a 52-year-old female chimpanzee, Tun Tun, died at the zoo. It was brought from the Alipore Zoological Garden in Kolkata as part of an animal exchange programme in 1998.

Endemic to the African continent, the species is endangered; there are less than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild, according to the Jane Goodall Institute.

Even as the Vandalur zoo deals with the loss of a lioness to COVID-19, the birth of the chimpanzee brings it some much-needed respite.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 12:18:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chimpanzee-birth-in-chennai-vandalur-zoo/article34797687.ece

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