It's a girl!: Maryland Zoo welcomes newborn baby chimpanzee

BALTIMORE (AP) — A 24-year-old chimpanzee at the Maryland Zoo has given birth to a baby girl.

The zoo welcomed the 2-pound (0.9-kilogram) new addition on Dec. 29, officials announced in a statement on Wednesday. The first-time mother, Raven, and the newborn chimp have “spent their first week together bonding in a quiet off-exhibit area,” according to the statement. The baby chimp will go on display for the public following the “short period” of bonding.

Raven was the second mom to give birth at the zoo outside of Baltimore in 2019. Another chimpanzee, Bunny, gave birth to Lola in July. There are now 14 chimps in its care, and officials said the births have been important as reproduction of the species at zoos nationwide has slowed in recent years.

“These two babies are essential for the long-term genetic health of the chimpanzee population in human care,” Erin Cantwell, the mammal collection and conservation manager said in the statement.

Officials haven’t decided on a name, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Zoo told The Washington Post. Sometimes the animal’s care team chooses a name and other times there’s a contest that involves the public, she added.

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