Harmony Wallace, the zoo’s senior Primate Keeper said, “We knew Keza was pregnant, and due anytime up until March, so we’ve been keeping a close eye on her—it was still a wonderful surprise when we found the new baby with mum this morning.”
As Keza added the group has been very excited, “The whole Chimp group is very excited and has been especially playful today. They’ve been grooming Keza—who is understandably looking a little tired—and watching over her and the new arrival. Sally, who is also a mother, to Beni (7) and Bakari (2), has been especially attentive to the first-time mother.”
Keza has been pleasing visitors by showing off the newborn in the chimpanzees Playroom.
“Chimpanzees develop at a similar rate to humans, so visitors will see the new baby being cared for by Keza over the next few years while it learns the ropes,” explained Jacqui Hooper. She was the first keeper to see the newborn when she came into work on Saturday.
“Chimpanzees breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, before moving onto solids. The breastfeeding will continue for up to four years, as a comfort and bonding mechanism. While the baby is young, visitors will be able to see Keza with her newborn nestled closely to her chest, “ she added”
Currently it is unknown what the gender of the baby is. Hooper said that, “we’re happy to report that both mum and baby are doing well.”
Photo Credit: Wellington Zoo