WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Lion Nation Safari welcomed a child chimpanzee to its troop on Dec. 30, the primary born on the facility in over 16 years and the one one born in 2021 at an AZA-accredited zoological park. The child is making his debut on the island habitats within the protect, and visitors driving by means of the safari may even see him clinging to mother.
This child is a major a part of chimpanzee conservation, contributing to the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP), a nationwide collaboration to save lots of them from extinction. Chimpanzees are listed as endangered and critically endangered in some areas by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with populations reducing attributable to habitat loss, poaching and illness.
Because of the standing of chimpanzees within the wild and the low variety of births within the inhabitants, this delivery is particularly uncommon and important for the conservation of the species.
The child is Irene’s first, and throughout the being pregnant, Lion Nation Safari’s chimpanzee care staff labored carefully with Irene to arrange her for motherhood. By way of voluntary coaching periods, Irene participated in ultrasounds, toddler heartbeat detection monitoring and practiced holding a stuffed animal child to her chest for nursing.
The baby has been named “Tonk,” in honor of the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Undertaking, a conservation initiative in Sierra Leone. The Tonkolili mission was co-founded by Lion Nation Safari’s personal Dr. Tina Cloutier Barbour, Curator of Conservation, Analysis and Chimpanzees and Chimpanzee SSP Coordinator.
Tonk joins a household of two males and a pair of females. His aunt Juniper, Irene’s sister, could be very within the child, remaining near Irene’s facet. The brand new mother is protecting however has let Juniper contact the child at occasions, and Aunt Juniper will go get meals after which recline subsequent to Irene and the child. It’s clear Irene is having fun with her group being close by as she embraces motherhood.
Chimpanzee gestation is roughly 8 months. At delivery, chimpanzees weigh roughly 4 kilos (1.8 kg). Infants cling to their moms on and off for the primary few years however will keep carefully hooked up for the primary 4 months earlier than changing into extra unbiased.
Lion Nation Safari is house to 17 chimpanzees and is a proud participant within the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums’ Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan and the Chimpanzee Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Program. Lion Nation Safari can also be proud to assist the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Undertaking.