Family therapy for abandoned chimpanzee ‘Can’
GAZİANTEP – Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s largest zoo in terms of its species and space, Gaziantep Zoo’s chimpanzee “Can” was born by caesarian section in April 2014 before being refused by his mother.
Being kept in a special shelter next to his family, Can is taken care of by a special team of three people. As he was deprived of mother milk, he has been fed with quail eggs, high-protein formula and lactose-free milk five times a day.
Celal Özsöyler, the head of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality’s wildlife protection department, said that for the first time in a Turkish zoo a chimpanzee was born via caesarian section.
Stating that Can saw his caretaker as his mother, he added: “He holds his caretaker like a mother and sees her very close to him. During this process, we made a cage for him to see his family and his family to see him, because we don’t want them to be separated from each other. If that happens, they start hurting each other.”
Özsöyler said the current space of monkeys in the zoo was insufficient, adding, “We built a more modern and wide Chimpanzee island for them. This island is on an area of 3,000 square meters. It is divided into two, one for summer and the other for winter. Can has a special room there; he will see his mother and father but they won’t hurt each other.”
He said they loved Can, but believed his place was his family’s side.
“Can looks at his mother during the day. Sometimes she is interested in him, too, but sometimes she ignores him. We are working to bring him back to his family as soon as possible. We observe the behaviors of the mother. When she accepts him, we will keep them together all the time,” Özsöyler said.