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'Healthy and Thriving' Baby Chimpanzee Born at Tennessee Zoo

People logo People 4/27/2022 Natasha Dado

Zoo Knoxville © Provided by People Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville just welcomed the newest member of its family!

The Tennessee zoo announced the birth of a baby female chimpanzee in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

According to the zoo, the newborn was born on April 22 to Binti, a 37-year-old chimpanzee, who experienced complications with a retained placenta during the birth.

Binti is recovering well after receiving care from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

"While she is getting her strength back, the infant is being cared for round-the-clock by the Great Apes team and is healthy and thriving," Zoo Knoxville said of Binti's recovery following the birth.

The zoo added that the newborn is "healthy and thriving."

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The baby chimp, who the zoo said has been nicknamed Stevie after late primatologist Dr. Steve Ross, is seen as a sign of hope for the endangered wild chimpanzee population, which has been deeply affected by illegal poaching.

"Chimpanzees are an endangered species, and being driven to extinction by habitat loss, disease, and their biggest threat, illegal poaching," Zoo Knoxville shared.

The Tennessee zoo is helping to protect the endangered chimpanzee population by working with 32 different zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to keep the captive chimpanzee genetically diverse and robust.

Zoo Knoxville © Provided by People Zoo Knoxville

On Facebook, Zoo Knoxville shared photos of the newborn primate cuddling up in an orange blanket and being looked after by other chimps in her troop, and posted a video about the animal's birth.

"All the chimps got a chance to see the baby. Our eldest female Daisy actually took the baby and was quick to respond to the baby, cleaning it up and caring for it," Melissa McGee, the curator of great Apes and mammals at Zoo Knoxville, shared in the clip.

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