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China: Around The Nation

Chinese zoo opens poll to name ‘adopted’ baby chimpanzee abandoned by its mother

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2016, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2016, 4:44pm

A zoo in northern China is polling the public on what to name its baby chimpanzee, which has been “adopted” by four zookeepers after it was rejected and abandoned by its mother.

The six-month-old chimpanzee was born in Taiyuan City Zoo in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China News Service reported.

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After the baby chimp was born, its mother refused to feed it, treated it like a stranger and even appeared terrified of it at times, according to the report.

Its mother is among a group of chimpanzees from Guinea who were raised in captivity.

After it was rejected by its mother, four breeders working at the zoo took over care of the little creature, feeding it and playing with it for hours on end every day.

As a result, the animal has grown very close to its four “adoptive fathers”.

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The baby chimpanzee, which was born in May, is set to meet the public when it reaches one-year-old, after which it will have to live on its own.

The creature still appeared nervous as it hid within the arms of one of its keepers, Liu Zhangxin, in a picture published in the report.

“Raising a chimpanzee is just like raising a human baby, said Liu, who was pictured patting the baby chimpanzee’s back after feeding until it burped – just like a human baby.

“At first, we were feeding it with formula milk power in a bottle every three hours six times a day.”

At times, Liu bent down to stare closely into the baby chimpanzee’s eyes and it looked up while trying to kiss him.

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Up to now, the baby chimpanzee has been unable to walk, but it likes to crawl and strengthen its arms by swinging from the bars of the cage.

Liu has also began to attract online compliments about his good looks as well as his compassion for nurturing animals.