KEITHVILLE (AP) — The latest paternity test at the national sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees confirms that Conan has overcome two vasectomies to father three daughters.
Chimp Haven announced the results Monday.
All three babies were surprises. Every male chimp must get a vasectomy before coming to the northwest Louisiana sanctuary near Keithville. After Conan fathered a baby in 2007, his tubes were clipped again.
Then a Valentine’s Day baby turned out to be his, and every male chimp still interested in and living with females got a more complicated vasectomy. The females all were put on birth control, just to be sure.
“As a sanctuary for chimpanzees in need, it is not the mission of Chimp Haven to create more chimpanzees,” said president and director Linda Brent. “We take our responsibility to prevent pregnancies very seriously, but sometimes life finds a way.”
Chimp Haven cares for about 125 chimps. The great apes live in social groups of up to 20, as they do in the wild. The federal government covers three-quarters of the cost for housing animals used in federal research, but not for babies or chimps that were privately owned before coming to Chimp Haven.
Because of Conan’s proven potency, Chimp Haven’s humans had suspected that he was the father of Natalie, born Aug. 13. Her mother, Ginger, was found to be pregnant after a chimp named Flora gave birth to Valentina Rose, also Conan’s daughter.
His 5-year-old daughter, Tracy, lives with her infant half-sisters.
Visitors Saturday, one of the few days that Chimp Haven opens to the public each year, were able to see all three in their forested habitat.