The Sun (Malaysia)
Pregnant chimp adopts orphan
AN AUSTRALIAN zoo recently unveiled a baby chimp adopted by a pregnant female in an “unheard of” act after its mother died during birth.
The baby, whose name Boon means blessing, was orphaned when mum Soona died shortly after it was born at Monarto Zoo, southeast of Adelaide.
But in a heartwarming twist, the “healthy” infant was adopted by fellow chimp Zombi, who had remained by Soona’s side as she died.
The zoo’s senior primate keeper Laura Hanley said she did not know of anywhere else in the world where a pregnant chimpanzee had taken on the role of surrogate to another infant, so close to a birth of her own.
“I’m humbled by what we’ve seen from the chimpanzee troop over the last few days – it’s unheard of to see a heavily-pregnant chimpanzee adopt an orphaned newborn infant.
“From the minute she first cradled the newborn, she’s been amazing – grooming, supporting and nursing the little man as though he was her own.
“The unique situation certainly reinforces the strong bond our chimps share and the similarities these amazing creatures have with their closest living relative, us,” Hanley added.