KEITHVILLE, LA (KSLA) - Conan is the father. That's the word from Chimp Haven on the DNA testing done to determine who fathered the sanctuary's third chimp baby in 5 years.
Conan also sired 5-year-old Tracy and Valentina Rose who was born on Valentine's Day of this year.
Natalie and her mother, Ginger, are in the same social group as Flora, Valentina Rose and Tracy. "It looks like all three girls are half sisters," said Chimp Haven President and Director, Dr. Linda Brent, in a statement released Monday afternoon.
Natalie, Valentina Rose and Tracy were all products of failed vasectomies. Conan received his second vasectomy after Tracy was born. Staff was shocked when Valentina arrived earlier this year and pregnancy testing revealed that Ginger was also pregnant.
Conan, along with other male chimpanzees in the sanctuary, was immediately re-vasectomized after learning of Valentina Rose's paternity results to avoid additional unplanned pregnancies. He has now been vasectomized three times. Chimp Haven says females were also placed on birth control as a precautionary measure. "As a sanctuary for chimpanzees in need, it is not the mission of Chimp Haven to create more chimpanzees," says Dr. Brent. "We take our responsibility to prevent pregnancies very seriously, but sometimes life finds a way."
Two weeks after her birth, Ginger's baby girl was "adopted" by a Southern California woman who named the chimp in honor of her late mother. The adoption will help support Natalie's care.
Chimp Haven says Ginger and Natale are doing very well. Natalie is eating well and growing stronger.