We just had to share this heartwarming vision of three-year-old Zola playing at ‘being mum’ with little chimp, Happy.
In the film you can see Zola carefully preparing a nest for her ‘make believe’ baby (actually a stone), then being allowed to carry her little troop friend, five-month-old Happy, under the close supervision of mum Hannah before lastly, having a careful cuddle with the very wriggly one while Hannah watches on.
“Zola has always had a very maternal side and we have often caught her playing with rocks and building nests for her stones, even picking them up and carrying in her leg pocket as some ape mother’s do. Since Happy was born, Hannah has been allowing Zola to get closer and closer to her baby boy. Recently she was allowed to carry him under Hannah’s guidance and often has him in her lap,” says Laura Hanley, Senior Keeper Primates, Monarto Safari Park.
“While sister Hope is interested in her brother, Zola is infatuated,” finished Laura.
Chimpanzees, like humans, are highly social animals and often share the caring of young.
Monarto Safari Park is home to troop of 13 Chimpanzees and supports the Jane Goodall Institute Australia as well as Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone.
For more information about the Chimpanzee troop and how you can support the species conservation, please visit monartosafari.com.au.