What's new at Basel Zoo

Ozouri was born at Basel Zoo on 2 February. The young chimpanzee is the son of Fifi. Ozouri is Fifi’s first infant. Despite her lack of experience, she is taking exemplary care of him.

By the time zookeepers began work on 2 February, little Ozouri had already been born. Fifi is a very caring mother to her first infant; she holds him close to her body and the little one has a healthy appetite. Ozouri has a dark-coloured face, which is different to the other chimpanzees that have been born at Basel Zoo recently.

Welcome to the chimpanzee troop

As is often the case, the whole troop has shown a friendly interest in the newborn. In their own way, each of the chimpanzees has tried to get closer to the mother to get a better look at the little one. However, Fifi is still cautious; she keeps the somewhat pushy male chimpanzees away while the young females are allowed to come closer. When the attention gets too much, she takes her infant and hides away for a little while. Fifi does, however, seem to be ready for adventure as both mother and son have already made their first trip to the outdoor enclosure.

A caring mother

Fifi was able to observe other chimpanzee mothers raise their young in the past and learn from them. She is now coping very well with her new and unfamiliar role. As is common among great apes, it will take some time before Ozouri is more independent. The first three months of his life will be spent clinging to his mother’s body, after which he will gradually be able to discover his surroundings.

It is not yet known who Ozouri’s father is. It is probably Kume (14), who moved to Basel Zoo in September 2013 with Kitoko (24) and Fifi (24).

Chimpanzees are severely endangered

The EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) runs European Endangered Species Programmes (EEPs) for all species of apes, with Basel Zoo as a participant. Unfortunately, conditions in the wild are extremely difficult for chimpanzees. This is due to the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat, diseases introduced by humans, hunting and the trade in bushmeat. Chimpanzees are classified as endangered by the IUCN.