Since the unexpected arrival of a baby chimpanzee at Chimp Haven, the public has been wondering who fathered Valentina Rose. All of the males of the group had been vasectomized which made the paternity mystery even more intriguing.
“We take our responsibility to prevent pregnancies very seriously, but sometimes life finds a way,” says Brent. Flora and Valentina Rose live in the same social group as Tracy, a chimpanzee youngster at Chimp Haven who was born unexpectedly five years ago. DNA testing pointed to Conan as her father; he was immediately re-vasectomized. Today, Tracy is an independent, lively chimpanzee who spends her days swinging from the trees in her spacious, wooded habitat. Her mother, Teresa, died a year ago, but the social group with which they lived stepped up and continued to look after Tracy.
Chimp Haven announced on April 11, 2012 that Conan, who fathered Tracy, also fathered Flora’s baby, Valentina Rose. “Tracy and Valentina Rose are half-sisters,” says Brent.
Valentina Rose started nursing soon after birth and mom was not shy about showing her off. All the chimpanzees have been respectful of mother and baby. Conan has shown particular interest in Flora and Valentina Rose since the birth. He has been seen grooming Flora and gently touching the baby.
Flora and Valentina Rose enjoy lounging in the sun down by the moat. Valentina Rose is also vocalizing with little coo’s and grunts when Flora gently tickles her.