Help the North Carolina Zoo name its new baby chimpanzee!

Gerre and baby boy chimp born March 18, 2019 – courtesy North Carolina Zoo.

ASHEBORO, N.C. – The North Carolina Zoo is asking the public to help name its newest family member: a baby boy chimpanzee born on March 18.

The contest is open to the public to vote through the Zoo’s website nczoo.org/babychimp. The contest opened Friday and closes April 29 at 5 p.m.

The winning name will be announced on April 30.

The names were chosen by zookeepers and are all of African origin:

  • Ayo (eye-oh): word of the Yoruba people for “full of joy or happiness”
  • Kojo: word from Ghana meaning “born on Monday”
  • Masaka: large town in Uganda
  • Obi: word of Nigerian origin meaning “one who charms others; heart”

This birth is significant because there have only been two other successful chimp births at Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited zoos in the past two years. The Zoo’s chimpanzee troop is one of the larger troops in AZA zoos in the United States.

Chimpanzees are listed as endangered in the wild. The North Carolina Zoo is actively involved in wild chimpanzee conservation in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, which boasts the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa.

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