At Edinburgh Zoo Scotland’s youngest chimpanzee has just celebrated her fourth birthday

Masindi, a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, opened presents filled with her favourite treats including peanuts, sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

Born on 3 February 2020, Masindi was only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland in more than 20 years, after her older brother Velu, who will turn ten this year.

She shares her home in the Zoo’s award-winning Budongo Trail enclosure with her mother Heleen, brother Velu and 12 other chimpanzees.

The enclosure is designed to represent chimpanzees’ natural habitat in the rain forests of West and Central Africa.

A Zoo spokesperson said fun-loving Masindi was “adorable” as she celebrated turning four years old.

Masindi’s life at Edinburgh Zoo has not been without drama however. At just one year old it was feared she would die after she sustained a head injury.

Keepers feared the worst after she was found unconscious and suffered seizures. She made a full recovery thanks to the quick reactions of keepers and expert veterinary staff.

The Western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) is a subspecies of the common chimpanzee — one of the five types of great ape along with gorillas, orangutans, bonobos and humans.

Highly intelligent, they are the closest living primate to humans, sharing 98% of our DNA, and live up to 60 years in captivity.

Masindi was named after the nearest town to the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda, where the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has funded vital efforts to protect the species since 2005.

Masindi the youngest chimpanzee in Scotland PHOTO courtesy of RZSS
Masindi the youngest chimpanzee in Scotland PHOTO courtesy of RZSS

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