The zoo’s 2-month-old male chimpanzee has a name. Tulsa Zoo staff chose the name Enloe in honor of the zoo’s beloved volunteer, Joe Enloe, who passed away in 2013. For more than 20 years, Joe dedicated much of her time to creating enrichment for zoo animals, especially for chimpanzees.
The newest member of the zoo’s chimpanzee troop is growing and continuing to reach new milestones. As Enloe settles into his second month, he continues to have non-stop contact with mom, Jodi. Whether he is on her belly, being held in her arms or making first attempts to stand with her balance support, Enloe is in constant physical contact with Jodi.
In fact, the ever-attentive Jodi hasn’t yet allowed the other chimpanzees to hold Enloe, although she is allowing brief periods of interaction. Enloe already is responding to troop vocalizations, as well as activity around him, with infant squeals, hoots, cries, whimpers and coos.
If you stop by the zoo this weekend, watch for Enloe to pay increased attention to things that interest him, and for him to spend more time trying to push up with his arms and balance with his legs. Common milestones for his age include reaching out for objects, pulling away from mom and trying to stand.
In month three, watch for improving coordination when he begins grasping objects, and for play sessions between baby and mom. Chimpanzees display a variety of facial expressions during play, creating an enchanting interaction between mother and infant. When Enloe begins reciprocating play and grooming, Jodi will allow extended contact with other members of the troop. Though she won’t be far away.
A conservation success, Enloe was the thirteenth chimpanzee to be born at the Tulsa Zoo since the zoo began exhibiting the species in 1950. This birth was in conjunction with the Chimpanzee SSP, or the Species Survival Plan ®, which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions across the nation. Native to west and central Africa, chimpanzees are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List due to habitat loss.
Chimpanzee troops have complex social environments, and they include chimpanzees of all ages. In addition to Enloe, the Tulsa Zoo is home to six other chimpanzees, including Morris, Jodi, Hope, Susie, Bernsen and Vindi.
Guests can visit Enloe, and other members of the chimpanzee troop, at Chimpanzee Connection.