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Rare chimpanzee born at Edinburgh Zoo

A critically endangered Western chimpanzee has been born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. The yet to be named female is only the second chimpanzee to be born in Scotland for over 20 years.

Mum Heleen was rescued from a research laboratory in the Netherlands before being brought to the zoo in 2010. This is the second birth for Heleen, who’s first baby, Velu, was born in 2014.

Images: RZSS/Donald Gow

Edinburgh Zoo’s Donald Gow said, “We are really proud of Heleen who needed lots of support from keepers to raise Velu, who is now almost six years old, but has been doing really well with her new baby.

“Like most newborns, chimpanzee babies are fragile in their first few weeks of life so we will be keeping a close eye on them both.

“While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee.

As well as being part of the European Endangered Species breeding programme, RZSS has funded vital conservation efforts for chimpanzees in the Budongo forest in Uganda since 2005. There are currently over 430 chimpanzees being monitored by the teams across eight sites, with this work possible thanks to support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

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