North Carolina Zoo welcomes new chimpanzee

This is the fourth chimpanzee born at the Asheboro Zoo since 2010. (Photo courtesy Diane Villa/North Carolina Zoo)

The North Carolina Zoo has announced a new addition to the chimpanzee troop. 

The new baby chimp was born on Monday, March 18 at the zoo in Asheboro. This is mother Gerre's second baby. Both are doing well, according to zoo officials, and the baby started nursing quickly. The gender has not been determined yet. 

“Congratulations to the North Carolina Zoo for the new baby chimp,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Today is a cause for celebration at the North Carolina Zoo as well as a critical moment in the conservation world.”

Gerre, who is around 20 years old, is an experienced mother and is very protective of her young. She had her first baby on Aug. 25, 2011 at the Dallas Zoo. The gestation period for chimpanzees is 230 days

Both Gerre and daughter Genie came to North Carolina from the Dallas Zoo on Nov. 14, 2012. 

“Every birth is special to us,” said Zoo Director Pat Simmons. “We are thrilled to have this new addition! We hope our guests see the baby as a symbol of how important it is to save chimpanzees in the wild.”

The North Carolina Zoo is one of the most successful zoos for breeding chimps. Before Monday’s birth, three infants have been born at the Zoo since 2010: females Nori and Ebi and male Gus.

With the new baby, the Zoo’s troop now consists of 16 chimpanzees – 10 females –Gerre and baby (sex T.B.D.), Amy, Ebi, Gari, Genie, Gigi, Maggie, Nori, Ruby and Tammy, and five males – Gus, Kendall, Jonathan, Lance and Sokoto.