Zuhura — Detroit Zoo's Newest Star


ROYAL OAK — Zuhura – Swahili for “morning star” – is the stellar name given to a female chimpanzee born last month at the Detroit Zoo’s Great Apes of Harambee.

Zuhura, born Aug. 10, is the first baby to mother Chiana, 19, and the third in five years for father, Imara, 18, who also sired female Akira, 2, and male Ajua, 4, with 26-year-old Akati. The baby also represents the Detroit Zoo’s inaugural second-generation chimpanzee birth; mom Chiana was born at the Zoo in 1994 to Abby, who is now 30.

“It’s exciting to have three generations of chimps represented here,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Mammals Robert Lessnau. “Chiana is proving to be a great first-time mom.”

Zuhura can be seen clinging to Chiana as she carries her around the Great Apes of Harambee. Visitors can spot them climbing trees outdoors on sunny days and hanging out in the habitat’s spacious indoor dayrooms during inclement weather.

The Great Apes of Harambee is a 4-acre indoor-outdoor habitat that houses chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas and drills. The primates spend their days foraging, grooming and playing, just as they would in their native African environment.

Zuhura’s birth is the result of a recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, a cooperative population management and conservation program for endangered and threatened species. There are 255 chimpanzees in AZA-accredited zoos in the United States, and Zuhura is one of only four chimps born this year.

 For more information, call 248-541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org.