KEITHVILLE (AP) — A surprise baby at the national sanctuary for research chimps in Louisiana has a lifetime sponsor and a name.
Chimp Haven spokeswoman Karen Allen says a southern California woman, Anita Hirsh, pledged $13,000 a year to “adopt” the baby, now named for Hirsh’s late mother, Natalie.
The federal government covers three-quarters of the cost for animals used in federal research, but not for babies or chimps that were privately owned before coming to the sanctuary near Keithville in northwest Louisiana.
Baby Natalie was born Aug. 13 to 42-year-old Ginger. Sanctuary officials suspect the father was Conan, who fathered another chimp born on Valentine’s Day and one born in 2007. Every pregnancy was a surprise. Conan had twice undergone vasectomies — one before and one after the 2007 birth.