(photo: Detroit Zoo./Melissa Thueme)

Chimpanzee Born At Detroit Zoo On World Chimpanzee Day

July 14, 2018 - 3:14 pm

ROYAL OAK (WWJ/AP) - The Detroit Zoo says a female chimpanzee named after primatologist Jane Goodall has been born there on the first World Chimpanzee Day.

The baby, named Jane, arrived just after 12 a.m. Saturday on the anniversary of the date in 1960 that Goodall first traveled to what's now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania to study the social interactions of wild chimpanzees.

The zoo says Jane is estimated to weigh around 4 pounds and is the second baby born to its mother, 35-year-old Abby, and the fourth for its father, 22-year-old Imara. Abby also gave birth to daughter Chiana, 24, at the Detroit Zoo.

Zoo chief life sciences officer Scott Carter says the mother and baby are doing well. 

"For nearly six decades, Dr. Jane Goodall has been a passionate advocate for chimpanzees, and we are honored to name this little one after her on the auspicious occasion of the first World Chimpanzee Day,” Carter said in a statement. "We cannot think of a better way to recognize Dr. Goodall’s important work and bring awareness to the conservation of chimpanzees in the wild and their well-being in human care."

Chimpanzees are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to habitat loss, disease, fragmented populations and illegal wildlife trafficking.

Staff estimate the baby will be visible to Detroit Zoo visitors at the Great Apes of Harambee within a couple of weeks. The 4-acre indoor-outdoor habitat is home to 11 chimpanzees and three western lowland gorillas.