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Louisiana chimpanzees pregnant despite vasectomies, surprise caretakers at Chimp Haven

Vasectomies for the male residents at the retirement home for research chimpanzees appear to have failed twice in the last year, at least.

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A child watches chimpanzees share a coconut at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia on Sept 30. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Pregnancies at a Louisiana retirement home for research chimpanzees, which have occurred despite vasectomies on the male residents, have stumped caretakers and prompted the administration of birth control and a new round of vasectomy operations, according to the Associated Press.

Chimp Haven saw two surprise pregnancies, the news agency said, citing the centers director as saying that an employee had discovered that Flora, a resident chimpanzee, had given birth on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14).

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According to the AP, the head of Chimp Haven, Linda Brent, says the discovery prompted the center to perform pregnancy tests on seven female chimpanzees. An ultrasound revealed that another female, Ginger, who is 42 years old, is pregnant and due to give birth this summer.

Brent said the Chimp Haven’s five males were to undergo a new round of more complicated vasectomies, according to the AP, which said Brent claimed she did not know whether the previous vasectomies were incomplete or if some males were able to re-grow their testicular vas deferens tubes and regain fertility.

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According to The Shreveport Times, the vasectomies performed at the camp have in the past proven not be fail-proof as a surprise pregnancy occurred five years ago.

“The average gestation for a chimpanzee baby is 237 days so we anticipate that Ginger will be delivering her baby around the fourth week in July,” veterinarian Raven Jackson was quoted as saying in a statement today.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120227/louisiana-chimpanzees-pregnant-despite-vasectomi