It's been a month of surprises for Chimp Haven, a sanctuary which takes in chimpanzees retiring after lives in biomedical research laboratories or the entertainment industry. Since Chimp Haven mostly houses older chimps and is meant to be a retirement sanctuary, all males undergo vasectomies before they arrive.
It's been five years since a baby chimp was born at Chimp Haven...until this Valentine's Day. "One of our caregivers actually found Flora and she thought that maybe she had a stuffed animal with her but it turned out it was a baby chimpanzee," said Amy Fultz, Education Program Manager for Chimp Haven.
In the past week, they've also discovered a second chimp, Ginger, who's expecting a baby in July. Fultz said that the babies will live out their lives at Chimp Haven and remain in their mothers' social groups. Although they're welcoming these new additions, Fultz said they're trying to prevent any more. "We're not in the business of breeding. We're in the business of retiring. The females are on birth control and the males will all be going back for a second procedure so we can prevent any future births," she said.
Chimp Haven is letting the public have a say in naming Flora's new baby. To submit a name or find out how you can donate to Chimp Haven, visit the website. http://www.chimphaven.org/