Our Youngest Chimps: Obi & Asha
Written by Sarah Himmelspach, Zookeeper, North Carolina Zoo
Hello everyone! I know things have been a little crazy these days, but life here at the North Carolina Zoo hasn’t slowed down, especially in the chimp habitat. Now that the Zoo has resumed operations, you may notice some changes of our youngest troop members, Obi and Asha.
Obi turned one year old on March 18, 2020 and has grown so much. He is confident and eager to leave his mom Gerre’s side to go off to play with the juvenile chimps, including his older sister Genie, and even some of the adults. The adult males, in particular, are incredibly patient and gentle with him. The only thing slowing Obi down is his short legs. He still has a bit of growing to do until he reaches adulthood, where he can weigh up to 160 pounds. We often observe him trying to catch up to the older chimps. His energy seems endless! With his energy, he also seems to have endless curiosity. He is quick to pick up many of the teachings and behaviors from his mom and the other troop members. He is also very engaging with enrichment and very curious about the almost eight-month-old Asha.
Obi snacking on a lime
Asha is the youngest chimp here at the North Carolina Zoo. She was born November 12, 2019, to mom Amy. A little fun fact is that every chimp mom has a different way of mothering. Amy is a low-ranking female, so she is not the most confident and is, therefore, a more protective mom. Due to that, little Asha is sometimes hard to see, especially on habitat. Asha is growing fast and has some beautiful pearly white teeth coming in. But as Asha gets older, Amy is letting her crawl around and start to climb while inside the chimp building. She is becoming quite the professional climber. I’m sure before too long, we will see Asha crawling around outside with Obi waiting to play with her.
I hope you guys enjoyed the update about the chimps, and we all here at the North Carolina Zoo are excited to see everyone again. Stay safe.