Birth of a chimpanzee

Our group of Central African Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) has recently recorded a new birth! The infant was born in late November and is doing well.

Her mother Tibe, who was transferred from Barcelona Zoo last year, is 22 years old. She’s an excellent mum, demonstrating great care for her baby. The sex of the infant has not yet been identified as mum is very protective: the baby is sticking against Tibe’s hip or belly most of the time. This new birth brings to 7 the number of individuals in this group.

The European captive population of Central African chimpanzees currently includes less than 50 individuals housed in a dozen zoos. This birth is therefore an important addition to the European Breeding Program for this subspecies if it is to be preserved in the long term. It is indeed classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and most of its wild population (nearly 80%) now survives outside protected areas.

Central African Chimpanzees are mainly threatened by hunting for bushmeat which is facilitated by the opening of numerous roads to transport timber extracted from the tropical forests. If we add to this the growing deforestation in favor of oil palm plantations and the multiplication of epidemics, in particular the Ebola virus, that have already strongly impacted the global population, the future of the subspecies looks bleak.

Only a wise and reasonable planning of land use to avoid massive land clearing and the development of large-scale agriculture can prevent the worst from happening. As some transboundary regions are of particular importance for the long-term conservation of the chimpanzees, cooperation between states is essential.