New baby chimpanzee at the North Carolina Zoo has its name!


Diane Villa/North Carolina (Zoo)

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ASHEBORO, N.C. — Thanks to help from the public, the new baby chimpanzee at the North Carolina Zoo has its name!

The baby boy chimpanzee was born on March 18.

A contest was open to the public to vote on a name through the Zoo’s website through April 29. The Zoo received about 6,000 votes.

The winning name — Obi — was announced Tuesday.

Obi is a word of Nigerian origin meaning “one who charms others” or “heart.”

Obi’s 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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