January 22, 2009
Baby chimp rides on passenger flight
Keepers at a British zoo said a baby chimpanzee traveled to its new home in Germany on a flight alongside human passengers.
Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire, England, said the 3-month-old bonobo, Bili, boarded a plane in Birmingham with his new keeper from the Frankfurt Zoo and flew to Germany to meet his new parent, a female bonobo trained as a foster mother at the German zoo, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
Officials at the British zoo said they began looking for a foster mother for Bili after he was rejected by his birth mother.
We were so excited when we found out Bili had a foster family to go to, said Kim Riley of the Twycross Zoo. "We've never had any of our animals travel on board an aircraft before -- but he is just like a little baby.
The keeper from Frankfurt Zoo had bonded with him over the past few days and Bili had started stretching his arms out to him for cuddles before they left, Riley said.