"The birth seemed to be without complication and the baby appeared to be healthy," stated Mike McClure, general curator at The Maryland Zoo.
"However, it soon became apparent that Carole was not adapting to motherhood appropriately and we made the difficult decision to remove and hand-rear the baby while searching for a suitable home with a nurturing surrogate."
For several weeks, Maryland Zoo
staff cared for Keeva
24/7 in a behind-the-scenes area in the Zoo's Chimpanzee Forest, where she
remained in close proximity to the chimp troop.
"Even as a tiny infant, it was important to familiarize Keeva
with the sights, sounds and even scent of the troop," continued McClure
During this same timeframe, the Maryland Zoo's
animal care team worked with the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan
(SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) to identify an adult female chimpanzee who might fill the role of surrogate mother.
It was determined that Keeva would be moved to Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo where she could be matched with a proven surrogate named "Abby."