Critically endangered chimpanzee celebrates second birthday at Edinburgh Zoo

Critically endangered chimpanzee celebrates second birthday at Edinburgh Zoo

A critically endangered Western chimpanzee named Masindi has celebrated her second birthday at Edinburgh Zoo.

As the youngest of the troop at the wildlife conservation charity's award-winning Budongo Trail, Masindi spent her big day with presents filled with delicious treats including straw, peanuts, sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

Born on 3 February 2020, Masindi shares her name with the nearest town to the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda, where the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has funded vital efforts to protect chimpanzees in the Budongo forest since 2005.

Explaining her special nature after a vote to name her following her arrival, Donald Gow, Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail team leader, said, "We are thrilled over 1,500 people voted to help name Masindi who is a particularly special new arrival because she is a Western chimpanzee, a critically endangered subspecies.

"Conservation is at the heart of what we do and it is fantastic to see our chimpanzee troop helping to raise awareness of the threats their species face in the wild."

The Western chimpanzee was once found across large parts of West Africa, but is now only found in a few countries and is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.

There are only an estimated 21,300 to 55,600 individuals in the wild due to the effects of habitat loss and hunting for bushmeat.

The work to protect the chimpanzees receives funding from the People's Postcode Lottery.