Monday, March 19, 2007

Paternity mystery solved, Conan is the father

The paternity tests are in: The retired chimpanzee whose monkey business made Teresa a mother despite his own vasectomy is 21-year-old Conan.

Conan was one of seven males living in a group with the mother, Teresa, at Chimp Haven, which provides long-term care for chimps that had been used for laboratory research or in the entertainment industry or as pets.

All seven underwent DNA tests after Teresa, a wild-born animal estimated to be in her mid- to late 40s, gave birth to Tracy.

Chimp Haven president Linda Brent announced the findings on ABC's “Good Morning America.”

“That isn't who I was guessing,” she said.

Conan, 17-year-old Magnum and 37-year-old Jimoh had been the top suspects because they seemed to have the most interest in Teresa, who gave birth to the female in January.

“I think most of the staff thought it could be Jimoh, but also Magnum and Conan were definitely affectionate towards Teresa,” she said.

All male chimps get vasectomies before they are brought to Chimp Haven. But its attending veterinarian, Elysse Orchard, said on the Chimp Haven Web site that vasectomy failures in chimpanzees are not uncommon.

Story here.


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