OKC Zoo Adopts Infant Chimpanzee - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

OKC Zoo Adopts Infant Chimpanzee

Posted: Updated:
Ruben, while he was at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Soon he will make his public debut in Oklahoma City. Photo: Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo Ruben, while he was at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Soon he will make his public debut in Oklahoma City. Photo: Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma City Zoo adopts a new infant chimpanzee into its troop. After being hand-raised at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, seven-month-old Ruben arrived in Oklahoma City on July 30.

Ruben needed a new home after a rough start in life. His mother, Rukiya, died 24 hours after giving birth. As if the loss of his mother wasn't enough, zoo officials say he was treated roughly by his father and his surrogate mother didn't accept him. That's when the Oklahoma City Zoo stepped in to help.

"The big benefit of being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is collaboration with other zoos," said Alan Varsik, Oklahoma City Zoo deputy director. "This is especially true for the well-being of our animals, such as being able to provide the long-term social health of this infant chimp, Ruben."

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo caregivers gave Ruben around–the-clock care since his birth. They also traveled with him to Oklahoma City and stayed for the first 72 hours to monitor the transition to his new home.

After just a few weeks, zoo officials say Ruben is blending well and being accepted by his new chimp family. Gradually, he has been introduced to the dominate male, Mwami; his surrogate mother, Kito; adult male,Quadeer; adult female, Cindy; and four-year-old, Zoe.

"Our Zoo has had two successful chimpanzee surrogate situations and we are gaining a good reputation among accredited zoos for our surrogate program," said Laura Bottaro, Oklahoma City Zoo mammal curator.

The Zoo plans to continue its surrogacy efforts as needed locally and abroad as part of the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan, a cooperative conservation and breeding program for species at risk of extinction.

Watch for updates on Ruben's progress and debut dates! Or follow Ruben and the other OKC Zoo animals on Facebook!

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Classifieds

Use our free classifieds to find the things you need or sell your items.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.