Monarto Zoo is excited to announce the pregnancies of not one, but two endangered Chimpanzees; Soona and Zombi who are both due in October.
To celebrate, zoo keepers have arranged a special party as they enter into their second trimester, where the mums-to-be will be treated to an assortment of gifts with their favourite treats hidden inside, to help ease their baby induced food cravings!
Monarto Zoo Senior Primate Keeper, Laura Hanley, says that the whole primate team is very excited about the impending births.
“We can’t wait for the prospect of two little chimp infants joining our troop. It will be fantastic for Zuri, who turns three in August, to finally have some play mates,” Laura says.
“Both Soona and Zombi suit pregnancy and are taking it in their stride. While Zombi has strong food cravings for vegetables like onion and capsicum, Soona is using her pregnancy as a time to get some extra relaxation and is taking it very easy.
“Having been off her contraception for three years, we are thrilled Soona has fallen pregnant. She has played an important role as aunty to Zuri and we have every confidence that she will be a fantastic mother.
“Zombi has already proven herself to be a great mum, with Zuri growing up to be an independent youngster with an outgoing, confident personality.
“We’re all intrigued to how the new arrivals will affect Zuri, who will no longer be an only child.
“Just like a human child, she will have to adjust to the troop focusing a lot of their attention on the new infants. It will provide an excellent opportunity for her to watch her mother and aunt with the new youngsters, which will help develop the skills needed to one day be a mum herself.”
In other chimp news, the team has recently received results from DNA testing that was carried out earlier in the year. It was long presumed that alpha male, Tsotsi, was Zuri’s father, however the tests revealed a surprising result; Sandali, the youngest male in the troop is Zuri’s dad!
It is thought over the past 20 years wild populations of Chimpanzees have decreased by approximately 90 per cent and as a result are listed as an endangered species, which is why captive breeding programs like Monarto’s are so vital.
We look forward to sharing the news of both pregnancies as they progress.