They had no idea if he would survive. But Kuchez, whose Swahili name means “Play,” lived.
Sedwick County Zoo (SCA) staff members in Wichita, Kansas, are now referring to it as a miracle.
The first several days after Kuchez’s birth were precarious. But because of the hardworking team, the baby chimpanzee is doing great.
Devin Turner, a zookeeper, noticed Mahale giving birth in the morning. As her labor continued, he sat by her.
Once Mahale’s labor paused, problems started to arise.
She would require an urgent C-section, it was concluded. Kuchez was born, and Turner was the first to hold him.
The newborn needed the zookeepers’ constant attention because it was having respiratory problems.
To provide that care, they spent the night with Kucheza.
As time went on, they became certain that she would survive. They fed Kucheza from bottles and administered oxygen treatments. Mahale was finally able to spend some quality time with her child after Kucheza had been stabilized.
“So, on Tuesday, the excitement that we experienced from having a living baby and from seeing Mahale on Thursday. That is the reason for what we do.
The zoo’s most recent chimp pregnancy ended in a stillbirth in 2019.
Mahale and her child had been apart for nearly two days. When she was finally taken to her infant, the zoo recorded the event on camera.
In the footage, mom is seen bringing her blanket with her as she is escorted inside an enclosure.
She doesn’t respond when she glances over at a cushion that is soft and has a bundle resting in the center of it.
She raises her hand and hurries over to the baby, scooping her up into her arms as soon as she notices movement.
She is holding the infant close to her and cooing at her while doing so.
This video’s emotional impact is palpable. The poor mother most likely had no idea what had happened to her child.
When she last saw the baby, he was having trouble breathing on his own. Later, it was taken from her.
The third child born to the 28-year-old chimpanzee.
People were moved to tears by the video, which has received over 16 million views.
“Goodness gracious! Sobbing!! How quickly she reaches out to touch her infant after spotting that tiny hand! So gorgeous! I appreciate you sharing, one commenter commented.
“OMG!! I’m crying as I sit here at my desk. Another person commented, “My heart just melted.
The infant’s life was reportedly saved by veterinarians and zoo employees.
Drs. Laura Whisler and Janna Chibry from College Hill OB-GYN assisted the zoo’s veterinary team in performing the cesarean section, according to the zoo. Since 2010, the couple has worked with Sedgwick County Zoo vets on all great ape pregnancies; most recently, Lily, a Sumatran orangutan, was delivered through C-section in 2018.