Baby Chimp Is Fascinated When She Looks In Mirror For First Time
Nov 22, 2020 by apost team
At three months old, Maisie the baby chimpanzee from The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is now able to gaze and focus at objects, including her own reflection in the mirror. The baby monkey was adopted into the zoo in early September 2020.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
On Wednesday, November 18th, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, took to Instagram to show off their baby chimpanzee and her latest milestone: staring and focusing on objects, including her own reflection. Maisie, the three-month-old, was filmed playing with toys when she noticed the cutest little monkey, herself, in a mirror nearby.
The zoo wrote: “Every milestone that chimp Maisie reaches brings her closer to being introduced to a surrogate mother and the troop!"
The video, which currently has nearly 7,000 views and over 1,000 likes, has comments flooding in from viewers talking about how “cute” and “precious” Maisie is. One person wrote: “I just want to cuddle her and snuggle her. My heart”, while another took the time to thank the zoo: “Very sweet. Nice to see something so loving and also so important in this [topsy] turvy world. Thank you for what you are doing and sharing with us all.”
Maisie makes a regular appearance on the zoo’s Instagram page as they document her milestones: “MAISIE MOMENT,” or “MAISIE MILESTONE,” as they call it. Just last Sunday, November 15th, the zoo posted a video of her laughing for the very first time as she was getting tickled by one of her caretakers. “Making a play face & laughing is a natural chimp behavior and a milestone chimp babies typically reach between 12 to 16 weeks,” they captioned. And before that on November 9th, the zoo shared a video of the baby sitting up all by herself!
Maisie first appeared on the zoo’s Instagram page on October 14th, when the zoo announced that they have adopted her into their home. Posts that followed gave updates on how the “chimp team members,” went on a road trip to pick her up. Still unnamed at that time, the zoo asked its followers for name suggestions and to vote which name would best suit the newborn chimp.
Over 9,500 votes cast later, “Maisie,” was chosen and the team at the Chimpanzee Forest said they are “so happy she officially has a name.” “Animal care staff use individual names, especially during training sessions. The chimpanzees all recognize their own names as well as each other’s and being able to call her Maisie will help us make the important introductions to the troop when she is ready,” said Pam Carter, Chimpanzee Forest area manager. The other names considered were Asha, Olivia, Nyota, and Tulia.
A study has shown that not only do chimpanzees recognize themselves in mirrors but in “delayed video footage,” as well. In the study, the researchers conducted a modified version of a mirror test (or a mark test) and found that three out of the five chimpanzees that were tested “consistently removed the mark” that was “placed on the face and head while watching live and delayed video images.” The researchers explained that their findings suggest that like four-year-old human children, chimpanzees “can comprehend temporal dissociation in their concept of self.”
Another study published in 2014 further explained that just as humans can inherit their Intelligence Quotient (IQ) levels from their parents, so it is with chimpanzees, too. Using a Primate Cognitive Test Battery with quantitative genetic analyses, the researchers “found that some but not all cognitive traits were significantly heritable in chimpanzees.”
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), chimpanzees are an endangered species. The organization reported that “results from the largest ever research study of gorillas and chimpanzees in Western Equatorial Africa” show that the population numbers of the apes are higher than what initially thought. Previous estimates had shown one-third less western lowland gorillas and one-tenth less central chimpanzees. The organization emphasized that while this is a good thing, the future of chimpanzees “cannot be taken for granted” and that their status remains perilous.
“Efforts must be made to stop poaching, illegal logging, and habitat destruction, the main threats facing great apes,” said WWF. “Critically, the study results confirmed that in areas where wildlife rangers were present—particularly in protected areas with intact forests—both gorillas and chimpanzees could thrive, further proving the significance of such protection.”
Following a 2013 proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to eradicate the legal distinction between wild chimpanzees and chimpanzees living in captivity, all chimpanzees became listed as endangered by the United States in 2015. This was done in an effort to help better protect the apes that were living in captivity. It was reported that out of 1724 of the chimpanzees living in captivity in the U.S., 730 of which reside in labs.
If Maisie put a smile on your face, pass this along to the next person so they can be smiling, too! Be sure to use this story to help spread the awareness of the endangerment of chimpanzees.