Monkey mystery: Chimps thought sterile are making babies
Zookeepers plan to do DNA testing on the baby chimps to determine paternity
|CNN's Anne McDermott investigates: Who can the prolific chimpanzee father be?
May 16, 1999
Web posted at: 7:21 p.m. EDT (2321 GMT)
From Correspondent Anne McDermott
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Among the chimps in the Los Angeles Zoo, there's been a baby boom of late. Yoshi gave birth in January, Gracie became a mom in May, and Regina will get her bundle of joy in July.
There's just one problem, though -- none of their male cagemates is a likely candidate for fatherhood.
Toto, at 45, has never shown any interest in the procreative arts ... a chimp-monk? Judeo has had a vasectomy. So has Shaun. So has Jerrard.
Glenn is just 4 years old, and seeing as chimps' ages roughly correspond to those of humans, he hardly seems old enough for daddydom. Neither does Ripley, age 2.
And don't try to tell who the proud papa is by who gets to hold the baby. Chimps not only don't mate for life -- they don't even necessarily mate with one partner for a single day.
The leading theory about how this mysterious bit of monkey business took place is that one or more of the vasectomies didn't take, as sometimes happens with humans.
As soon as the babies are older, zookeepers plan to do DNA testing to prove paternity.