Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You can eat this yellow snow

The chimps have been inside a lot this winter due to the cold weather. Since they can't go out in the snow, the keepers brought it into them. Gatorade powder (yellow) was added to the treat.

We Are Expecting!

Knoxville Zoo is eagerly awaiting a new addition to the chimpanzee troupe this
spring. Jackie, a 35-year-old female chimpanzee, is expecting and zoo staff anticipates she will give birth
in March or April of the new year.
Jackie came to Knoxville Zoo in March of 2008 from the Cleveland
Zoo. Upon her arrival, she was reunited with Jimbo, a male
chimpanzee who was her long-time companion in Cleveland before his
move to Knoxville in 2006. Jimbo and Jackie received a breeding
recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which
manages the placement and reproduction of endangered chimpanzees
in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
in the U.S. Nature took its course, and keepers estimate Jackie to be
between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. The gestation period for
chimpanzees is typically 34 weeks.
“So far, Jackie has had a very healthy pregnancy,” says Lisa New,
director of animal collections for Knoxville Zoo. “She’s started
showing belly weight gain and is definitely more interested in food.
We’ve also noticed she is resting a bit more frequently. Her keepers
are monitoring her closely, and we’re optimistic that we’ll welcome a
healthy baby in the spring.”
Jackie and Jimbo share their Chimp Ridge home with seven other chimpanzees, including George, the
zoo’s year-and-a-half old baby who was the first chimpanzee born at Knoxville Zoo in 20 years. George
was also sired by Jimbo on a breeding recommendation with his mother, Daisy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Julie Chimp Leaving

Julie, a 23-year-old member of Knoxville Zoo’s chimpanzee troupe, will be relocating to the
Rio Grande Zoo, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, early in 2010.
The move is a recommendation of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), the
program that manages the placement of chimpanzees in zoos accredited by
the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Julie will be joining two
males and six females in Albuquerque as part of a social management plan.
The move also reflects the normal social changes that would occur in
chimpanzee groups in the wild, where it is common for female chimps to
move to new social groups as they reach maturity.
A deciding factor in the decision to relocate Julie to the Rio Grande Zoo
was her disruptive relationship with the alpha male in Knoxville’s
chimpanzee troupe, Jimbo. Jimbo came to Knoxville in 2006 as part of an
SSP breeding recommendation; in 2008, he fathered the zoo’s one-year-old
chimp George, who lives at Knoxville Zoo with his mother Daisy. The zoo
also hopes he will father offspring with two other females, Debbie and
“Unfortunately, Julie never would accept the presence of Jimbo as the
alpha male, which disrupted the balance of the entire group,” says Lisa New, director of animal collections at
Knoxville Zoo. “Although we hate to see Julie go, it’s the right thing for her, the right thing for the rest of the
group, and what would be a natural occurrence in the wild.”
New expects Julie to adjust well to her new group; several of the chimps she will meet in Albuquerque are young,
which should suit Julie well. “Julie loves youngsters, and she’s smart and socially savvy,” says New. “We want
what’s best for Julie, and have every expectation that she will thrive in her new surroundings. But if it doesn’t
work out for any reason, she will always have a home here in Knoxville.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow Day

Knoxville had it's first snow last week and George, mom Daisy and Aunt Debbie went out briefly in the afternoon once it warmed up. Most of the snow was melted by then. Daisy and Debbie made their own snow balls and ate them.