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ABQ BioPark’s Zoe the Chimpanzee is Going to be a Mom!

It’s the first pregnancy for the chimp, and welcome news for safeguarding the endangered species
March 21, 2024

 

The ABQ BioPark has happy news: Our chimpanzee Zoe will soon become a first-time mom!

BioPark veterinarians have been monitoring Zoe’s health since her pregnancy was detected using a human home pregnancy test last fall. Zoe is trained to participate in her own health care, which includes weekly ultrasounds and prenatal care. All signs indicate that Zoe’s baby is healthy, growing well and may arrive within a month.

 

“Although she’s a first-time mom, Zoe will have the help of other females in the troop who have experience raising babies,” said Amber Alink, curator of elephants and primates. “It’s also important for the social development of our younger chimps to learn how to behave around infants.”

Zoe came from Oklahoma City Zoo in 2021 with her companion, Siri, to join the troop here as part of the chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

“We were absolutely thrilled to learn about Zoe’s pregnancy,” said Tina Cloutier Barbour, Ph.D., coordinator of the Chimpanzee SSP for the AZA. “Given their endangered (to critically endangered!) status in the wild, every chimpanzee infant is precious. Chimpanzees in accredited zoos serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, connecting our guests with the dangers of extinction and fostering empathy for the natural world. We also see time and time again how revitalized and dynamic chimpanzee troops become in response to the arrival of an infant.”

 

The new addition will join Zoe, Siri and six other chimpanzees at BioPark: Elaine, Alf, Rainey, Babbett and twins Rio and Desi who were born at the BioPark to Elaine in 2014. It’s expected that the entire troop will help Zoe in her role as a new mom.

 

The announcement of Zoe’s pregnancy comes ahead of Great Ape-ril, a month the BioPark dedicates to our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, featuring special activities and educational opportunities for visitors. Come to the Zoo on select Saturdays throughout the month and visit tabletop Discovery Stations to learn about great apes and how you can help them. Or, join a tour led by primate care staff on select Sundays. All proceeds support great ape conservation efforts. Great Ape-ril Animal discovery stations are included with regular admission. Great Ape-ril tours require advance registration.

We'll be providing updates on Zoe's pregnancy on our social media!