Animal handlers at the zoo in Manhattan reported that the chimp, Suzie gave birth to a healthy female on Aug18. Both baby and the mother are in good health, as the baby is breast fed. Suzie’s only health problem is that she has a cataract in one eye.
It is extremely rare for a chimp as old as Suzie to give birth, particularly since it is several years since her last baby. Zoo curator, Mark Ryan, says that as far as they know Suzie is the oldest captive chimp to give birth to live offspring.
Suzie was taken off birth control due to medical concerns – and because zoo officials didn't dream she would get pregnant at her age, says Zoo director Scott Shumaker.
Shumaker said "It's obviously an exciting time here and has garnered a lot of attention, which we're excited about it." It was only in June that the keepers at Sunset Zoo became conscious of the fact that Suzie was pregnant, when an ultrasound showed the unborn chimp. Animal keepers had noticed a change in Suzie’s behavior.
The zoo will hold a naming contest for the new arrival.
Chimpanzees in captivity usually live to approximately 60 years of age, compared to only 40-45 years in the wild. At aged 66, the longest recorded living chimp died in December 2008. He was thought to have been the oldest known chimp in Africa. The Manhattan Mercury affirms Suzie is the third oldest chimpanzee living in captivity.
The new born chimp will join the ranks of animals scientists are gathering data from. Eleven years ago chimp twins were born at Gombe National Park.
It is very uncommon for twin chimps to survive, as the mother has a lot of difficulty carrying them. Mothers often serve as the infants’ sole protectors against other aggressive chimps and threatening carnivores, including humans.
The mother of Golden and Glitter bravely managed to foil off an attack by two big aggressive females.
The twins have well over a thousand comrades on their Facebook page alone.
For more information about "Oldest Chimp Mum In Captivity", visit website http://www.tropicpost.com/
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