An exciting piece of news has just come in from Chester Zoo, with the arrival of a brand-new critically endangered Western chimpanzee, with both mother and baby doing well.
It’s thought that there are only around 18,000 Western chimps in the wild in Africa and it’s the first subspecies of chimpanzees to make its way onto the list of critically endangered apes.
Experts at the zoo say it’s too early to tell if the baby is a male or female, as he or she will remain cradled in the arms of their mother for several months until they build up enough confidence to start exploring the world by themselves.
Western chimpanzees can be found in West Africa but it’s thought they’re already extinct in Benin, Togo and Burkina Faso.
Mike Jordan, Chester Zoo animal and plant director, explained that Western chimpanzees are now facing huge threats from habitat loss, illegal bushmeat trade and hunting, with populations declining very quickly - and it seems there is little to no prospect of this coming to an end.
“[This] makes the conservation populations in zoos extremely important for the future.
In tandem with the endangered species breeding programme, involving many of the world’s most progressive zoos, our conservation teams are working alongside our partners in Uganda, Nigeria and Gabon to help protect chimpanzees and their forest homes,” he went on to say.
Back in July, the zoo also welcomed other new arrivals - this time a pair of great green macaw chicks. They actually hatched in April but spent three months tucked away inside their nest, being cared for by diligent parents Royan and Dresden!
For help with zoo exhibit design, get in touch with Mudd Creative today.