The Czech Republic welcomed its first baby chimpanzee in 17 years after a baby female was born in Pilzen Zoo on the afternoon of New Year’s Day.
The last time a Czech zoo managed to breed a baby chimpanzee was in 2003, also in Pilsen. The baby female was this year’s first arrival of the Pilsen Zoo.
“The first-time mother, Zedonja, was born in 1994. She comes from Arnhem Zoo in the Netherlands and has been living in Pilsen since 2002,” said Martin Vobruba, spokesman for the Pilsen Zoo. The father of the baby is Bask, born in 1993.
The first baby chimpanzee ever born in the Czech Republic was born in Pilsen in 1978, but it didn’t live to adulthood.
Thus, the only successful breeding female, Bamia, born in 2003, now lives in France and is already a mother.
The whole group of six chimpanzees at the zoo, with five adults and one baby, is doing well.
“The mother cares perfectly for the baby. The nurses do not need to interfere in the breeding. Still, the chimpanzees must be allowed maximum calm and space for the care of the baby in the first days of its life,” Vobruba said.
Therefore, the part of the tropical pavilion with the chimpanzee exposition will be closed to the public in the following period.
Visitors will be able to see the apes again in the next few days or weeks.
Other Czech zoos in Ostrava and Liberec tried to reproduce the chimpanzees in the 1980s and 1990s. However, breeding these apes is difficult, and the young often die.
Chimpanzees can live up to the age of 50 in human care. In Pilsen Zoo, the oldest chimpanzee so far is Bask’s first partner Zwart, a 40-year-old female.