It's A Girl! Zoo Welcomes New Baby

Friday, February 23rd 2007, 9:53 am
By: News On 6

It's a girl! New babies always stir up excitement, and they are very excited at the Tulsa Zoo. The News on 6’s Rick Wells reports the reason is a new baby chimpanzee.

Mom Jodi, Dad Alvin and the new baby met the media on Friday, and the rest of the troop got its first chance to be outside since last weekend when the little one was born.

"I'm so excited, this is so awesome," said Zoo Keeper Maureen O’Leary. "It's really exciting for the chimp troop to be able to have a new individual to be interested in."

O’Leary says the entire troop of chimpanzee’s are behaving and helping Mom with her baby.

Friday’s announcement was a media preview, but Zoo visitors got an early look at the new baby girl.

"I liked it," said 8-year-old Bailey Keller.

Young Bailey is from Elkins Arkansas; she was visiting the Tulsa Zoo with her family. Friday’s visit was extra special since she’d never seen a baby chimp before.

There hasn't been a baby chimpanzee born in Tulsa since Alvin 16 years ago, and this one didn't happen without a bit of engineering. The females are on a daily birth control regime, so Jodi was taken off the pill and vasectomized Morris the other male to make sure Alvin was the father.

The new baby goes on public display at the Chimpanzee Connection on Saturday. Of course, the baby girl needs a name, so the Zoo is holding a contest, if you have an idea for a name visit the Zoo’s website at