Any mother can tell you that just after giving birth, the only thing she wants is her baby.
Mahale may be a Chimpanzee, but when it comes to motherhood, she may as well be human. The 28-year-old animal is a resident at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, and she recently welcomed her third baby.
After her labor stopped progressing, zoo veterinarians determined that the safest way to deliver her baby was by performing an emergency C-section.
“It’s a BOY!” the zoo wrote on Facebook. “Chimpanzee Mahale gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, Nov. 15, via C-section performed by Drs. Whisler and Chibry of College Hill OB-GYN along with the Zoo Veterinary team.”
The baby was named Kucheza (pronounced koo-CHAY-zuh), which means “play” in Swahili. Since the infant had trouble breathing during his birth, the experts had to keep him away from his mother for two long days.
Chimpanzees are endangered animals whose wild populations are in decline due to poaching and habitat loss. The zoo takes their role as conservationists seriously, and they’re determined to protect these incredible beings and help keep their numbers up around the world.
“All of the animals in our care serve as important ambassadors for their species,” they stated.
When Kucheza was finally strong enough to breathe on his own, the keepers gently placed him in a blanket inside Mahale’s habitat. A video shows the moment the mother spots her baby’s hand in the blanket, then grabs him up to snuggle him immediately. It’s a heartwarming moment so sweet, and so incredibly human, it’s gotten love from all over the world.
“Mahale and Kucheza have reminded us all that chimpanzees are smart, charismatic, and amazing animals. And they need our help!” the zoo wrote in the video’s caption. “Small actions — like recycling your old cell phones and using only sustainably-sourced (certified) palm oil and paper products — can help save chimpanzees like Mahale and Kucheza in the wild.”
Now that Mahale has her baby with her, the pair will be kept in a private enclosure for a while so they can bond. Mahale has already proven to be a loving and attentive mother who has no problem multi-tasking.
“Many have asked how Mahale eats and takes care of herself if she never puts baby down,” the zookeepers explained. “The answer is that they’re both quite talented! Chimpanzee babies cling to their mothers’ fur so mom’s hands are free for foraging, climbing, nesting, etc.”
The public has fallen in love with this sweet mom and son duo, and the zoo keeps everyone updated on their progress on the zoo’s social media pages.
Just look at those eyes! We can see why so many people adore Kucheza and his precious mama. We’re glad they’re getting such amazing care and bringing joy to so many people around the world.
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