Beloved Rocky Zoo animal almost ready to give birth
Rockhampton Zoo is on the cusp of welcoming its newest baby animal, with soon-to-be Chimpanzee mum Samantha due to give birth on Sunday.
Sports, Parks and Public Spaces councillor Cherie Rutherford said staff are keeping a very close watch on mum and bub, in time for the expected delivery on April 18.
"Zoo staff are continuing to monitor Samantha closely and are regularly checking the baby's positioning," Cr Rutherford said.
"The baby is in a very low position and on the right side most days."
Cr Rutherford said along with the baby's low positioning, much of Samantha's activities are strong indications of impending birth.
"Samantha has been showing a lot of nesting behaviour lately and during the day you can see her gathering materials to build a nest," she said.
"She is also very clucky toward the troop's youngest member, Gandali, at the moment and he often snuggles into her night nests with her which is very cute.
"In terms of energy levels, she has slowed down a lot and the keepers have even noticed her quite restless of a night-time as though she is struggling to get comfortable and fall asleep."
Cr Rutherford said that while there are always risks involved, all are waiting with excitement for Samantha's baby.
"Many people will remember that in 2019, Samantha lost a baby at birth, and this heartbreaking loss was felt strongly by all.
"We are so hopeful that we will be welcoming a healthy and happy new member of our growing troop very soon."
Samantha is the second eldest member of the chimpanzee troop, and turns 38 this year.
Alpha male Alon is the father of the baby.
He is father to each of the chimp babies at the council-owned Rockhampton Zoo who include Capri, born in February 2018 to Leakey, and Gandali, born in February 2019 to Holly.
The chimpanzee family, along with all animals of the Zoo, can be visited between 10am and 4pm each day. Entry to the Zoo is free.