Chester Zoo welcome new addition: birth of an endangered species of western chimpanzee - watch the moment
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This is the moment that conservationists are celebrating: a recent new arrival at Chester Zoo; the birth of a baby boy western chimpanzee. The species of chimpanzee is one of the rarest in the world and also one of the most endangered, leading to why many have celebrated the newborn.
Chester Zoo has shared some images of the boy, as yet unnamed, being held by his proud mother ZeeZee, who zookeepers have said delivered the eight month pregnancy safely while the boy is in “good health.” The newborn is set to benamed after either a rockstar or a musician, which Chester Zoo hope will raise more awareness for the critically endangered species.
“[We are] incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the chimpanzee troop,” Andrew Lenihan, team manager at Chester Zoo, has said. “You’ll often see the new baby being passed between other females who want to lend a helping hand and give ZeeZee some well-deserved rest, and that’s exactly what her daughter, Stevie, is doing with her new brother. It looks as though she’s taken a real shine to him, which is great to see.”
The zoo believes the birth of the chimpanzee provides a small but vital step in the conservation of the western chimpanzee, which are under significant threat in the wild as a result of hunting for the illegal bushmeat trade and extensive habitat loss and forest destruction across West Africa.
A near 18,000 western chimpanzees now remain across Africa, and it is the first subspecies of chimpanzees to ever be declared critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)