Adorable, Endangered Baby Chimp Safiri Born At Sydney Zoo
Staff at Taronga Zoo have welcomed a tiny new addition to their chimpanzee family: baby Safiri.
Mother Shiba gave birth to Safiri in May, with the pair out in exhibit in time for World Chimpanzee Day on Sunday.
Primate Keeper Janet Lackey said both mum and bub are doing "really well".
"Safiri is suckling really well and we're seeing her develop. She's really building her strength; we are starting to see her hold her head up," Lackey said.
Safiri's birth brings Taronga Conservation Society Australia's number of chimpanzees to 21, including one-and-a-half-year-old Cebele and Spitter, who will turn 60 next year.
"Having another little girl really helps us balance out our group," Lackey said, adding Cebele as a playmate "will really help with Safiri’s growth and development".
Being humans' nearest relatives, chimpanzees share over 98.5 percent of our DNA. But the endangered species is increasingly facing extinction due to habitat loss, and the bush meat and illegal pet trades.
Lackey said minerals and ores such as coltan -- short for columbite tantalite --are found and mined in chimpanzee habitats in central and west African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We actually use it (coltan) in our mobile phones, so you can imagine that we all have some in our pockets or our handbags at this very point in time," she said.
"What we can do to help is to ensure that we are recycling any mobile phones that we have tucked away, that we're not sure what to do with -- or maybe that we're going to upgrade."
The Taronga Conservation Society, in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia, is urging the public to bring their old phones with them on their next zoo visit.
Featured image: Taronga Zoo