Ljubljana – Ljubljana Zoo has welcomed a newcomer to its midst as a baby chimpanzee named Tai was born in mid-January. Crested geckos, black-tufted marmosets, a species of New World monkeys, kangaroos and meerkats have also seen the arrival of newborns, the zoo has said.
Tai’s parents, 22-year-old Neža and 33-year-old Boris, already had one infant before Tai, a chimp called Leona, who is now five years old. Grandmother Mojca, aged 46 and considered a chimpanzee matriarch of Ljubljana Zoo, and aunt Nika, aged 20, are part of Tai’s extended family.
The baby chimp was named after a national park in Ivory Coast where endangered West African chimpanzees live.
Tai is expected to be able to ride on his mother’s back already in mid-summer, the zoo said in a press release, adding that Leona showed no signs of jealousy over her younger sibling.
Chimpanzees live in groups of 15 to 120 members, so it is vital that they get used to living in such communities and acquire social skills early on. Chimpanzees give birth typically once every three or five years as baby chimpanzees need a few years to develop.
The zoo has invited visitors to come see the newcomers, asking them however not to disturb animal families by knocking on the glass or using flash while taking photos. Animal feeding is also not allowed due to a risk of transmitting infections.
“Since animals can also catch the novel coronavirus or other diseases, it is recommended to wear face masks outdoors as well, especially when visiting monkeys or beasts,” said the zoo, urging adherence to prevention measures and zoo protocols.