NEW BABY: Chimpanzee Leaky with her offspring. Still image from a video provided by the Rockhampton Zoo.
NEW BABY: Chimpanzee Leaky with her offspring. Still image from a video provided by the Rockhampton Zoo.

MAYOR'S COLUMN: Strelow invites all to see the baby chimp

WHAT'S in a name?

It's an age-old question and not one we'd have cause to think about much these days.

But that's exactly what the council is asking the community to do in helping name our new baby chimpanzee at Rockhampton Zoo.

Born just under a month ago, the little girl to mum Leaky and dad Alon has fast become popular, with crowds lining up to get a peek at that adorable little face.

On my visit last weekend I only managed to see a little pink face and the round ball of her hand as she cuddled into mum. But it was cuteness overload just the same.

Alon and Leaky have come to us from Israel and they are helping to improve the gene pool of chimpanzees within Australia.

Thankfully Leaky had seen mothering in her previous situation and she has risen to the challenge beautifully.

The zoo's Facebook page is full of delightful shots of Leaky and her unnamed baby.

Any mother will relate to the protective cuddles, the constant feeding and cleaning and some of the delightfully relaxed poses.

My favourite is Leaky crossing her legs to pop the baby on her knee.

As the first chimpanzee born in Queensland in about 40 years, it is a rare event and well worth celebrating.

It highlights the great variety of experiences we can offer visitors - nowhere else in the state can you see chimpanzees, let alone a weeks-old baby chimp.

We want to encourage visitors to our region to stay an extra day to visit Rockhampton Zoo's newest family member.

We already have billboards and national media telling our story.

In a few weeks they will be able walk away with baby chimpanzee dolls, magnets and postcards that will serve as reminders of Rockhampton and their visit to baby ----.

We want our community to be part of that experience and help us name her.

Head to the council's website and give us your best suggestion so we can find a name that's as special as she is.

In case it's been a while since you visited the zoo, it's still free and open seven days from 8am-4.30pm.

The best access is at the gate close to the golf club in Ann St.

Nearby are the otters and their feeding times are at 2.30pm daily.



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