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Baby Capri and Samantha. Image Supplied
Rockhampton Regional Council has announced that the Rockhampton Zoo is expecting an exciting new addition to their chimp family!
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said that first-time mum Samantha has been doing very well through her pregnancy, and that the new baby is expected to arrive in November.
"I am absolutely delighted that we will soon be welcoming a new little baby to our growing chimp family," said Mayor Strelow.
"It was only last year that the adorable Capri arrived, who was the first baby chimp to be born in Queensland since the 1970s. She has absolutely stolen the hearts of every visitor to the Zoo, her keepers, as well as the love of the other chimps.
"Capri and the new baby will share the same dad, Alon, but have different mothers.
"Expecting mum Samantha and baby Capri share a really lovely bond, however, and watching them interact makes it easy to picture how wonderful Samantha is going to be with her own child.
Samantha. Image Supplied
"It will also be very exciting to watch how the bond grows between Capri and her new half-sibling as well - once Capri gets over the jealously of no longer being the sole centre of attention!"
Chair of Council's Parks Committee Councillor Cherie Rutherford said that as well as being a wonderfully exciting addition, the new baby will also be genetically valuable.
"Samantha's father, Charlie, was a wild chimpanzee in the Democratic Republic of Congo who was captured and sold into a circus before being transferred to Dunedin Botanical Gardens and Zoo, where Samantha was born," said Cr Rutherford.
"Samantha is the only remaining child of Charlie, who has since passed away, which means she is the only chimpanzee of her genetic bloodline in the Australasian region.
"Alon, the baby's father, was born in Tel Aviv and is not related to any chimps in this part of the world.
"Chimps are absolutely wonderful animals, however they are unfortunately also highly endangered.
"This baby will not only delight visitors to the Zoo, they will also eventually be very important for breeding programs dedicated to the survival of the species."
Rockhampton Zoo is owned and operated by Rockhampton Regional Council. It is open daily from 8am until 4.30pm and is free to visit.
Head over to the Rocky Zoo Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/RockhamptonZoo/> page to find out more.