A British zoo recently released photographs of a female chimpanzee cradling her newborn baby. The chimp, named Mandy, is a Western chimpanzee. At the age of 43, the animal gave birth to a newborn after eight and a half months of pregnancy. She went into labor at the end of August in the Chester Zoo. Though the sex of the baby has not yet been determined, this is a huge win for the species either way.
"She’s bonded instantly with her new baby and can be seen protectively cradling it in her left arm at all times," said Team Manager of the Primates section at Chester Zoo, Andy Lenihan, "It's a little too soon to tell if her new arrival is male or female as a newborn chimpanzee will remain in the arms of mom for several months until they develop the confidence to start exploring independently. Most importantly though, it’s bright-eyed, alert, and getting stronger by the day."
"It’s great to see the other youngsters watching Mandy closely and learning from such a natural mother," stated Andy.
Andy also explained that this chimp wouldn't be a single mother. They explained that a new arrival usually meant a lot of help from extended family and even other children in the group. A newcomer means all hands on deck, even in the world of chimpanzees.