Hamilton Zoo gives Swahili name to ‘chatty’ baby chimp

The Hamilton Zoo have given the first baby chimpanzee born at the facility a name at last, with the little one called Chiku, a Swahili name that means ‘one who chatters’.


The Zoo said that the name, picked by a member of the public, suited the little female primate. Deanna Carter of Te Awamutu was rewarded with an annual pass to the zoo for her recommendation.

Acting zoo curator Catherine Nichols said in the New Zealand Herald: “We liked the name because it represents her personality, she’s a very chatty little animal.”

Chiku, much like human babies, will be carried by her mother for the next six months, before moving onto mom Sanda’s back, and then starting to walk.

Nichols added: “On average, chimpanzees begin to take their first tentative steps from six months of age and she’ll only get stronger and more active as she grows.

“All members of the troop will have a hand in raising her and teaching her over the coming years.”

Chiku is one of six chimps at the zoo, and aside from mom Sanda they have dad Luka and three others, namely Lucifer, Lucy and Sally.



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