Critically endangered Edinburgh Zoo chimp celebrates first birthday

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CELEBRATIONS are underway after a critically endangered chimp has turned one years old today.

Edinburgh Zoo’s youngest Western chimpanzee, Madindi is celebrating her birthday today with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and Edinburgh Zoo.

The Zoo has announced the chimp will be enjoying extra snacks with the rest of her chimp troop today.

Masindi and Edith_Chimpanzee_Budongo_Kate Grounds - Nature News Scotland
(Photo provided) Young Masindi is celebrating turning one today

The one-year-old shares her name with the nearest town to the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda where RZSS has funded vital efforts to protect chimpanzees in the Budongo forest since 2005. 

Edinburgh Zoo’s Budongo Trail is where the chimpanzees, including Masindi are located.

The large enclosure can hold up to 40 chimpanzees and the enclosure is said to be  specially designed to stimulate the chimps to use and show natural physical, social and mental behaviours that would be observed in the wild 

Masindi is still very much a toddler, learning to walk independently, eat solid foods and play with her older brother, Velu.

Masindini was named in a public vote last year was only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for over 20 years.

Her mother, Heleen was praised last year by Donald Gow, the Budongo Trail team leader who said at the time “We are really proud of Heleen who needed lots of support from keepers to raise Velu, who is now almost six years old, but has been doing really well with her new baby.

“Like most newborns, chimpanzee babies are fragile in their first few weeks of life so we will be keeping a close eye on them both.

“While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee.

“We know her dad is either Frek, Rene or Louis and we will carry out a paternity test during the baby’s first health check