Environment

Plans for world first live broadcast of SA chimpanzee birth

Sapa

In what is reported to be a world first, the Jane Goodall Institute, near Nelspruit, plans to transmit a live broadcast of a chimpanzee birth.

A young chimpanzee rests in a tree. (Gallo)

According to the organisation's executive director, David Devo Oosthuizen, a discreetly placed camera is monitoring mother-to-be Nina's progress, and she can be observed 24 hours a day via live video streaming.

In preparation for the birth, Nina (9) has been quarantined at Camp Eden, and special precautions are being taken to ensure that she is not disturbed. The birth is expected to happen within the next few days.

Nina was rescued by the JGI from bushmeat hunters in South Sudan in 2007, along with four infant chimps, one of whom, Thomas, is thought to have fathered her baby.

"The JGI is a rescue sanctuary and we have a very strict non-breeding policy, but Nina's temporary contraceptive implant failed," Oosthuizen said.

"There could be complications during the birth, as Nina is still very young – female chimps usually reach sexual maturity at 15.

We do not know if she will accept the baby, as she herself was tragically robbed of a normal childhood in the wild with her chimpanzee family."

The best way to receive a notification about the impending birth was to join the JGI's Facebook page, Oosthuizen said. – Sapa

The link to the website page is lite.wildearth.tv/chimp-eden-nina-cam

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