This is 28-year-old Mahale's third child, but per the zoo, for the chimpanzee community, this is a significant birth.
Sedgwick County Zoo welcomed the cutest member of their community on board 2 days back when their chimpanzee Mahale gave birth via emergency C-section after natural labor stopped progressing. The animal care team decided to intervene surgically after noticing that the labor progressions at present could hurt both mother and child. Kucheza, the baby chimp, was born at 12:48 p.m. via C-Section.
Although the baby was delivered in good health and Mahale was fine too, since baby Kucheza wasn’t breathing well on his own, he stayed in the hospital with the medical team until he could be reunited with his mom. The Sedgwick County Zoo posted an update on Facebook, letting everyone know that after almost 2 full days, Mahale and baby were reunited! The video attached to the update is warming hearts online.
In the video, the mother, Mahale, can be seen entering the chamber and inspecting the blanket, almost looking like she's wiping a tear away. Just then, a small hand reaches out to her and the mother realizes that it's her bundle of joy. She immediately picks up the child and sweeps him in her arms, just hugging him with untethered joy.
Kucheza's eyes are winning hearts across the internet, with thousands of people liking and sharing the young chimp's photos. Facebook user Shelia Richards commented, "Oh he's absolutely precious and so adorable. I love all breeds of monkeys and apes." Another user, Karin James commented, "such wise little eyes that take in everything right from the moment they arrive!"
The video of the mother and child reuniting was posted on the Reddit forum r/MadeMeSmile, titled, "A Chimp was born a couple days ago at the Sedgwick County Zoo. He had trouble getting oxygen so he had to be kept at the vet. This video shows mom reuniting with him after almost 2 days apart."
The video has almost 101,000 upvotes with many users commenting about how beautiful the moment between the apes is. User u/clarabellabogwash said, "Omg mums reaction when seeing her baby move Brought a sting of tears to my eyes!" User u/Electrical_Shoe528 commented, "Did she make lil whimpers when she saw and grabbed her baby, 'cause that's what did it for me. 😭😭 happy tears."
"Kucheza (koo-CHAY-zuh) means “play” in Swahili," the SCZ revealed in a Facebook post, with an adorable video of the baby nursing. The surgery was complicated, but the medical care team at the zoo had it all under control. “Drs. Laura Whisler and Janna Chibry of College Hill OB-GYN were on hand to perform the cesarean section with the zoo’s veterinary team,” the SCZ said, per KSN. “The pair have consulted with Sedgwick County Zoo veterinarians on all great ape pregnancies for the past decade — most recently delivering Sumatran Orangutan, Lily, via Csection in 2018.”
Mahale is doing well, according to the zoo, behind the scenes. Before being reunited with his mother, Kucheza required treatment for low oxygen levels and bottle feedings from the animal care staff. This is 28-year-old Mahale's third child, but per the zoo, for the chimpanzee community, this is a significant birth. “Chimpanzees are listed as endangered, and wild populations are decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching for bushmeat,” the SCZ says. Kudos to Mahale and Kucheza!