And our new baby boy chimp's name....chosen by the public is... Obi! Obi is a Nigerian word that means "one who charms" or "heart".
The names chosen from were all of African origin and the public voted to decide the chimpanzee baby's name.
Ayo (Eye-oh): word of the Yoruba people for “full of joy or happiness”
Kojo: word from Ghana meaning “born on Monday”
Masaka: large town in Uganda
Obi: word of Nigerian origin “one who charms others; heart
We are excited to announce that on Monday, March 18, 2019 a healthy baby boy was born to Gerre. Both mother and baby are doing very well.
Gerre (zha’-ree) who is around 20 years old, is an experienced mother and very protective of her young. She is the mother of Genie, who was born on August 25, 2011, at the Dallas Zoo. Both Gerre and Genie came to the North Carolina Zoo from the Dallas Zoo on November 14, 2012.
According to Curator Jennifer Ireland, the troop is very curious about the young baby. The last birth at the Zoo, a male named Gus, was on May 14, 2014. The adult male chimpanzees in this troop are outstanding in that they are known for being very gentle and playful with younger chimps.
With the new baby, the Zoo’s troop now consists of 15 chimpanzees – 9 females –Gerre & baby Amy, Ebi, Gari, Genie, Gigi, Nori, Ruby and Tammy, and six males – new baby boy Obi, Gus, Kendall, Jonathan, Lance and Sokoto.
Chimpanzees are listed as endangered in the wild. The North Carolina Zoo is actively involved in wild chimpanzee conservation in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, which boasts the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa. The Zoo’s program, UNITE for the Environment, has been operating for more than 15 years. UNITE works in partnership with schools that are within a 5-km radius of Kibale National Park to improve teaching methods, to enable teachers to incorporate more environmental topics into the classroom, and to help the local community find ways to reduce their impact on the neighboring National Park.