Endangered chimp born at zoo in England

Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England, announced the birth of a critically Western endangered chimpanzee.

The zoo called it the "world's rarest" chimpanzee.


"WORLD'S RAREST CHIMPANZEE BORN. Proud Mum ZeeZee safely delivered her tiny baby boy after an eight month pregnancy. 80% of Western chimpanzees have been wiped out in the wild, leaving them on the brink of extinction..." Chester Zoo tweeted.

The chimp, which is yet to be named, and its mother, ZeeZee, are said to be in good health following his delivery on Friday, according to a news release from the zoo. Traditionally the zoo has named baby chimpanzees after rockstars and popstars. Names of other babies include Dylan, after Bob Dylan, and Alice, named after Alice Cooper.


"We're incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the chimpanzee troop. Mum ZeeZee and her new arrival instantly bonded and she's been doing a great job of cradling him closely and caring for him," said Andrew Lenihan, manager of the zoo's primate section.

The Western chimpanzee is the most endangered subspecies of chimp in the world. They once appeared naturally in 13 countries, largely in Africa, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The largest population is in the western African nation Côte D'Ivoire. The total population is between 21,000 and 55,000.

Chester Zoo said about 18,000 Western chimpanzees remain throughout Africa. The subspecies is the first subspecies of chimpanzee to be declared critically endangered. A critically endangered species is one facing an extremely high risk of extinction.

""We're in the midst of a global extinction crisis. The UN estimates that one million species could be wiped out in our lifetime," said Mike Jordan, animal and plant director at Chester Zoo.

"But, as a world-leading conservation zoo, we're doing everything we possibly can to halt and reverse this."

Latest Headlines