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Simon Hampel

Chimpanzee at Wellington Zoo

Very young baby chimpanzee at Wellington Zoo

Chimpanzee at Wellington Zoo
Simon Hampel, 5 Sep 2006
    • Simon Hampel
      Very young baby chimpanzee at Wellington Zoo
    • orang09



      is the
      the chimps
    • SilverbackApes
      surely the mother should be holding it?
    • James27
      I would think so, it looks very young. Did she rear it ok?
    • Goretex
      Yes she should.

      How's the baby doing now?
    • Zoofan15
      I was really interested to come across this pic @Simon Hampel. Was it taken 2003 out of interest?

      I believe the mother is Cara (from looking at the torn ear), who in 2003 gave birth to a baby that died aged only a few months old after being injured by one of the other chimpanzee. This photo might help explain how this eventuated as people have correctly noted she should really be holding it at this age.
      Jambo likes this.
    • Simon Hampel
      @Zoofan15 I'd have to go through my records to try and find when it was taken. It is quite likely that it was around that time - I don't recall visiting Wellington Zoo in 2006 when this photo was uploaded, however I do know I visited several times in the years previously.
    • Zoofan15
      @Simon Hampel Cheers. I was just curious as this being a photo of Cara's 2003 baby (Hasani) seems the most likely conclusion. Beyond that, other possibilities (infants that survived to the age of the infant in the photo) are Alexis (born 1998 to Cara), Keza (born 1998 to Samantha) and Bahati (born 2000 to Sally) but I believe it is Cara from the view of her ears.
    • Simon Hampel
      @Zoofan15 Given it was 2003 before I made my first visit to Wellington Zoo, it wouldn't be any of the others.

      I found my original photo - it was taken November 2003.
    • Zoofan15
      @Simon Hampel Thank you for locating the date of the original photo.

      I'm sad to confirm to you and @Goretex (who I see was asking about this infant) that is indeed Cara's ill fated son. He was born mid October 2003 and died just two months later after being injured by another chimpanzee in the exhibit. He was never officially named but received the name 'Hasani' by a research student, who was studying the chimpanzee group at the time.

      I'd often wondered how his death had occurred, whether it was an attack on Cara and the infant by another female in a hierarchy conflict, or whether they were caught in the cross fire of a fight between the adult males.

      If this picture is taken as an illustration of a very relaxed attitude to parenting by Cara, it is more likely that this contributed to his injuries through circumstance with attention from the juvenile and adolescent chimpanzees in the group at the time being a possible and equally likely cause of the fatal injuries.

      Cara lost another infant in 1997, who died at a similar age. She did however rear two infants (born 1994 and 1998) to adulthood so perhaps luck was a factor in the survival of her offspring. I often thought it was strange why Cara (who hasn't had an infant since 2003) was never allowed to breed again, considering her genetic value. Her entire maternal line, which originates from Taronga Zoo has been extremely ill-fated.

      Today, Cara enjoys a high ranking position in the group as the mother of the alpha male, Alexis (her only surviving offspring), after years as a low ranking female.
      Jambo likes this.
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    Wellington Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    Simon Hampel
    5 Sep 2006
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