On May 17th 2021, Billi one of the resident chimpanzees at Ngamba Island gave birth to a bouncing male baby chimpanzee. In the first couple of weeks, the baby was not faring well. He was weak and lethargic and spent most of the day asleep and hardly moving, except to breastfeed, which was not as often as expected. He lost a lot of his facial and cranial hair, possibly due to overgrooming by his excited mother, Billi.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary caregivers initially named him Neymar, after the football staff Neymar Jr, because of the small crop of hair that remained on top of his head!
After three worrisome months, ‘Neymar’ has suddenly become more active. He now climbs onto the bars of the isolation rooms and plays with the other infant Bolly.
During feeding times, he gets excited and often conflicted. He looks longingly at his mother as she feeds and tries to eat some of the fruits that appear delicious to him. Often, he simply takes a small bite and spits it out in disgust. He only seems to like the watermelon fruit, that he nibbles on sucking the juice and spitting out the pulp. As his mother feeds, he stays close, holding onto her while attempting to take food from her mouth or playing with materials like hay, food peels, etc.
At Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary we have a non-breeding policy and uses subcutaneous implants to control breeding. This is because the carrying capacity of the forest and other facilities is limited to just 60 chimps.
Unfortunately, a recent batch used at Ngamba Island has led to many failures, resulting in 3 babies. The implants have since been switched.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary still needs support to continue running its operations. For support Click here