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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777
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Chimp at Home


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baby naama

Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90



Na’ama was born in 2006 to Tzipi, who suffered from postpartum depression and wouldn’t take care of her newborn girl. Tzipi’s first son died mysteriously and another was neglected until he, too, finally died. Tzipi was given birth control medication, but still managed to get pregnant and carry to term.

To prevent yet another tragedy, the baby Na’ama went to live at the home of Noa Danin, a worker at the Tisch Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, and her family.

Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90

Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90

Later, Na’ama was introduced to the chimp group, first to the younger females and their offspring, and eventually to the entire chimp gang. Na’ama quickly learned how to be a chimp, and even more important, since she is female, she needed to learn how to be a good chimp mom. Like human beings, motherhood is a learned behavior and hand raised chimps frequently have problems when it comes to caring for their offspring.

I think, if we could do this with some human parents, cage them next to good parents so they can model themselves after them, we’d have a much happier human race.

Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90

Credit: Yossi Zamir / Flash90

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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