A chimpanzee living in a sanctuary in Uganda gave birth to an “unplanned baby girl” after contraceptive implants failed to work, officials told the BBC.
The management of Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria were shocked to discover the chimp was pregnant and said DNA tests were being carried out to find out the identity of the father.
The mother, called Natasha, is thought to be about 29 years old. She was rescued from Arua in the west of the country nearly 21 years ago.
The sanctuary manager said that they tried to prevent pregnancies as there were no resources to provide for the newborns.
”Like human beings, female chimps get contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This is done to control their population at a sanctuary meant for only stranded or orphaned primates,’’
Titus Mukungu, who is also a vet, told the BBC.
There had only been four babies born in the last 20 years, so the contraception usually works, he said.
The birth on 5 September brings the chimpanzee population of the island sanctuary to 50.
A conservation trust in Uganda is asking people to come up with a name for the new chimp.