DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There is a brand new addition to the Dallas Zoo. It was announced on Friday that a baby chimpanzee was born on January 26. “We have a healthy, vibrant troop of chimpanzees that continues to grow here at the Dallas Zoo,” said Keith Zdrojewski, the zoo’s mammal curator.
The new one will not be named until zookeepers are able to determine its sex. But the baby chimp appears to be healthy, officials said. Veterinarians are giving the child some bonding time with its mother before administering a health exam.
The new baby joins mother Ramona and brother Kona in a nine-member group of chimps at the zoo. “Ramona is taking exceptionally good care of the new baby, as she did with Kona in 2009,” Zdrojewski said.
Zookeepers kept a close eye on Ramona throughout her pregnancy, administering frequent ultrasounds and medical exams to ensure that everything went smoothly.
“This new addition is a great success for the troop and our zoo,” added Lynn Kramer, the zoo’s vice president of animal operations and welfare. “Kona has been an integral part of the troop, as this new baby will be. Ramona is a strong, vibrant chimp, and she’s proven to be an excellent mother and a key member of our chimpanzee social structure.”
Baby chimpanzees are completely dependent on their mothers for the first two or three years of their lives. Right now, the new chimp can be seen by Dallas Zoo visitors, hanging on tightly to Ramona before starting to move around on its own.
The chimpanzee habitat at the Dallas Zoo includes a 19,000 square foot forest and 3,000 square foot indoor living space, along with a waterfall, stream, climbing structures, and more than 40 kinds of plants.
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