Little Rock Zoo welcomes new baby chimpanzee

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (LR Zoo) – The Little Rock Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a male chimpanzee born July 18, 2015, to chimp Mahale. Along with that announcement, the Zoo also launched an online poll asking the public to vote for a name for the new baby.

Name choices for the baby were selected by keeper staff. Presented in alphabetical order the choices are:

Jumoke – Swahili for "everyone loves the child."

Kgosi – a Setswana term for "king" or "chief." The baby's grandfather was named "King Richard."

Kibale – named after Kibale National Park in Uganda; this is similar to the baby's mother, Mahale, who was named for Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania.

Voting will take place online at the Zoo website until midnight on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Visit www.LittleRockZoo.com/babychimp to vote. Results will be posted after noon on Monday, August 3.

This marks the second birth for Mahale, who gave birth to Kendi in 2009. While paternity tests have not been conducted, keepers suspect the likely father of the baby is Kijana, the alpha male chimpanzee of the group.

The best opportunity to see the new baby and the chimp family is during the 1:30 p.m. scatter feed at the Great Ape exhibit every day. However, mom and baby have access to an indoor air conditioned area; they have the choice to venture outside or not.

The chimp's birth is the result of efforts by the chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP is an organization with members from other AZA accredited zoos that makes breeding and companionship recommendations for endangered animals.

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.

(Source: Little Rock Zoo)


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