Rolling Hills Zoo is welcoming two new members to its animal family.
According to the zoo, two new chimpanzees are being introduced to the troop of four at their great ape exhibit. Female chimpanzees, Baby Face and Randi made the move from the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana on Monday. Baby Face is 47-years-old while Rani is 34-years-old.
“Both females were recommended to join our troop of four by the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan, to increase our overall group size,” shared RHZ’s General Curator, Brenda Gunder. “This addition will allow for a more balanced male to female ratio and for all to have more choice with whom they spend their time. This type of fission-fusion social organization mimics the wild where females migrate to neighboring communities and males stay within their family groups.” The Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan is part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, of which Rolling Hills Zoo is an accredited member.
Baby Face is described as the “peacemaker” by her former Potawatomi Zoo keepers. She is an experienced female who has been in several groups over her 47 years. While details of her birth location are not known, at age 5 she was moved to an AZA accredited facility and is no stranger to troop introductions.
Baby Face is known to lead her companion Randi, who is described as a natural follower and overall “chill” chimpanzee. Born at the Fort Worth Zoo in 1985, she joined the troop at Potawatomi Zoo in 2015 where she was introduced to Baby Face.
The two new females will be joining Rolling Hills Zoo’s current troop that includes Millie, a 20 year old female; and three males: Shudak – 42 yrs. old, Tohlo – 39 yrs. old, and Auli – who turns 39 years old later this month.
Rolling Hills Zoo appreciates everyone’s patience while they allow the chimpanzees time to acclimate to their new home and get to know each other. Currently, the great ape building’s indoor viewing remains closed due to the COVID-19 situation and the outdoor viewing area is roped off during this introductory phase.
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Photo courtesy Potawatomi Zoo – Baby Face (L) Randi (R)