Dr. Jane Goodall, a world renowned chimpanzee and nature conservationist, has named the chimp Zakayo II
Photos by Julius Luwemba
A month after the demise of 54 year old Zakayo, a rescued baby chimp has been named as his successor and ambassador for all the other chimps that have been rescued from captivity.
Dr. Jane Goodall, a world renowned chimpanzee and nature conservationist, has named the chimp Zakayo II, saying that it will continue to carry on the role the late primate had as a representative of the chimps rescued from captivity and rehabilitated.
“He will represent all the sad little orphans who have been rescued from the hands of illegal traffickers and poachers and have received care and are now healthy. He will represent all the chimps in the wild that will be rescued,” she said.
The christening took place at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) Entebbe Zoo. Unfortunately, Zakayo II who was rescued from traffickers at Kasyoha-Kitomi in Western Uganda two weeks ago, could not attend his own christening.
Ronald Wako, the head of the primates section at the Zoo said that Zakayo II is still undergoing a quarantine procedure and could not be exposed to the world before it completes the full body check and treatment.
Instead Janet, who was also rescued a month ago from captivity, represented him. Zakayo died in April this year from Chronic Gastroenteritis.
Just like his successor, the late Zakayo was found abandoned in Semiliki National Park in Bundibugyo District in 1964. He was raised by a white man who later handed him over to UWEC in 1976.
He rose through the ranks to become the leader of the group of chimps at UWEC but lost the position in 2012 to Matooke who also later lost it to Aluma. Even at the time of his death, Zakayo commanded respect among the chimps.
All eyes are now on the toddler, watching and waiting patiently to see if he will be able to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor.