Rockhampton Zoo announces safe arrival of baby chimpanzee

Published on 09 December 2021

Leakey's baby 09.12.21.jpg

Christmas has come early for Rockhampton Zoo and zoo-goers this morning, with the exciting news that the chimpanzee troop has a new family member.

Zoo staff, together with Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor Cherie Rutherford have made the official announcement that 26 year-old chimpanzee, Leakey, has safely given birth to her baby.

“We are absolutely thrilled to share the news that Leakey has given birth, and that both she and bub are doing really well,” Cr Rutherford said.

“Leakey went in to labour last night. She did incredibly well, and the baby arrived at around 8.30pm.

“We are yet to determine the sex of the baby but for now we want to give the troop some time and space to welcome their newest family member.

Cr Rutherford said in order to allow the troop to adjust, the enclosure will be closed for the upcoming days.

“We’re very excited to reopen the enclosure when the troop is ready and for the community to come and meet this beautiful new baby,” Cr Rutherford said.

“I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has been in touch to wish the troop, Leakey, the new baby, and our Zoo staff well.

“The Zoo certainly holds a very special place in the heart of our community.”

“I also would like to acknowledge the tremendous work and care from our Zoo keepers who kept a close eye on Leakey throughout.”

Zoo Team Leader, Blair Chapman, said second time mum Leakey is doing really well.

“The birth sees cheeky Capri a big sister once more and almost two-year-old Gandali promoted to big brother,” said Blair

“Leakey is doing extremely well – she’s very relaxed and she has shown the keepers her baby.

“Dad, Alon, is also really relaxed and that likely comes down to experience being his third bub in four years.

“He was seen inspecting the baby very soon after birth.”

Photo and video footage of the new baby can be found at this Sharefile link: