ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The North Carolina Zoo announced a new addition to the chimpanzee troop on Tuesday.
On Sunday, a healthy baby boy was born to chimp Gigi in full view of guests.
“In true Gigi fashion, she gave the guests quite the show on Sunday afternoon,” said Animal Management Supervisor Jodi Wiley, who has worked with the chimp troop for several years.
The animal care and veterinarian teams say the mother and baby are doing well, and the baby appears healthy and active and is nursing.
Gigi, who is 12 years old, is a first-time mother and was born at the Dallas Zoo in 2011. She arrived at the North Carolina Zoo in 2012 with three other family members: mom Gari, sister Gerre and niece Genie.
Chimps are very protective of their young, and mothers hold the infants exclusively to their chest until about four months of age when they are allowed on the ground to begin exploring.
The most recent chimp births were male Obi and female Asha in 2019, who are now rambunctious toddlers.
“Gigi, as a mom, has been doing great so far. She’s been holding the baby very close, and the baby has had a firm grip. The rest of her troop has been interested, especially our three-year-old Asha. Gigi has had some great mom role models, including her mom Gari, so we’re excited to see Gigi raise her own,” Zookeeper Kristy Russell said.
Gigi’s baby is the sixth chimp birth at the North Carolina Zoo since 2010.