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Female chimp set up with younger male

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 01:39

Aug. 30 - Zookeepers attempt to unite a widowed female chimpanzee in Santiago, with a young male rejected from his group at the Buenos Aires zoo. Tara Cleary reports.

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Female chimp Judy gives 10-year-old Gombe a hostile welcome. Zoo experts are hoping that the two primates will form a bond. Judy who is at Santiago's Metropolitan Zoo lost her mate of 28 years and Gombe was attacked by the alpha male of his group at Buenos Aires zoo and cast out. And Director of the Metropolitan Zoo, Mauricio Fabry, trusts that the two will form a new group, even though mating may be out of the question as Judy is 22 years Gombe's senior. SOUNDBITE: Director of the Metropoilitan Zoo in Santiago, Mauricio Fabry, saying (Spanish): "We do know that they will form a group and hopefully this group will grow with the addition of other chimpanzees, so that the group can add to the conservation of the species." Chimps are social animals and isolation can cause them anxiety. So Gombe was sedated and transported across the Andes to meet his new mate. And to the team's delight, Judy warmed up to the young male. SOUNDBITE: Director of the Metropoilitan Zoo in Santiago, Mauricio Fabry, saying (Spanish): "We are truly euphoric because everything worked out better than planned. We actually had a contingency plan for today. We did good professional work, but whenever you work with behaviors, with living beings, things can go wrong. That was not the case here at all. It has turned out great. It is very exciting to see Judy with a new chimpanzee." It remains to be seen just how close the two will become and whether breeding is on the cards. Tara Cleary, Reuters.

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Female chimp set up with younger male

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 01:39