Taronga Zoo Sydney's renowned chimpanzee group has welcomed a tiny, new addition with a female baby being born to mother Naomi on Wednesday the 7th October to round out the spring school holidays. The baby was born at 11am to the delight of watching guests and in a special turn of events, also arrived on the 104th Anniversary of the opening of Taronga Zoo.
Keepers have reported that the new baby, who is yet to be named, and mum Naomi are doing well. While Naomi is extremely protective of her baby, keeping her close to her chest, guests and keepers alike have been already been able to spot some cute glimpses of the new arrival.
The birth is particularly significant given Naomi has had complications with her previous pregnancies. Naomi is 19 years old and arrived with her sister Ceres from Givskud Zoo in Denmark in 2015. Since integrating into the group, she had fallen pregnant twice, however both infants were sadly stillborn.
"We've been on such a journey with Naomi and her past pregnancies, so to see her deliver a healthy baby and watch as those natural instincts kick in really is a miracle," said Taronga Zoo Senior Primate Keeper Katie Hooker. "Naomi is extremely maternal and has displayed great care with sister Ceres' baby Cebele. It's really heart-warming to see her experience that for herself.
"Given her history, we were naturally cautious around this pregnancy, however we were able to work with Naomi and our vets to conduct an ultrasound and see that this pregnancy was going well and also to determine an approximate due date.
"While mum Naomi is being really protective, guests have been able to catch some fantastic glimpses of the new baby as mum moves her around. As the days pass there will be more chances to spot the youngster as mum and bub become more comfortable," said Katie.
Naomi and sister Ceres are extremely important to Taronga's breeding program, helping to establish a new genetic line. To help Naomi have a successful pregnancy, she received specialist treatment from the team at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital as well as from a human obstetrician and sonographer who helped to conduct further tests to investigate her previous still borns.
Taronga now has 21 chimpanzees in their dynamic group with the oldest chimpanzee named Spitter turning 60 earlier this year. This new arrival joins other adorable baby animals at Taronga Zoo Sydney, including an Australian Sea-lion pup and crowd favourite Ebo who have delighted guests during the spring school holidays. Book your tickets to visit Taronga Zoo this school holidays at taronga.or.au.