Orphaned chimp finds new troop

Sept. 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- An orphaned chimpanzee from Florida has finally found a home at the Oklahoma City Zoo, officials say.

Ruben, an 8-month-old chimp, arrived at the Oklahoma City Zoo in July from the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Fla., after his mother died and his father was deemed too intense to care for the young animal, the Oklahoma City newspaper The Oklahoman reported Monday.

"Our two females liked him but none of them picked him up, neither of them were that interested," Lowry Park curator Lee Ann Rottman said. "His father wanted to play all the time and Ruben just wasn't ready for that."

In Oklahoma City, Ruben was introduced to Kito, who had been chosen as a surrogate for another orphaned chimp, Siri.

"We chose Kito because she has the patience of a saint," Oklahoma City Zoo curator Laura Bottaro said. "We knew this from how she handled Siri."

Officials at the zoo say Kito and Ruben have been getting along well since the young chimp arrived at the zoo and that Ruben has found his place among a chimpanzee troop.

"For a youngster at his age he's very independent," said curator Robin Newby. "He'll go back to his surrogate mom for a little check-in and then he's off playing with the dominant male."

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