Laughing is a major milestone that chimp babies typically reach between 12 to 16 weeks

By Georgia Slater
November 20, 2020 10:58 AM
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The Maryland Zoo is giggling with joy after one of its baby chimpanzees hit a major milestone this month.

Earlier this week, the Baltimore zoo shared an adorable video of Maisie the chimpanzee laughing for the first time.

According to the zoo, "Making a play face and laughing is a natural chimp behavior and a milestone chimp babies typically reach between 12 to 16 weeks."

In the too-cute video, which was filmed on Nov. 3 and later posted to the zoo's social media pages, a staff member is seen tickling the baby animal before Maisie lets out a tiny giggle.

Maisie is also seen cuddling and playing with one of her toys all while keeping a big smile on her face.

On Tuesday, the zoo posted another clip of Maisie in which she starts to understand her reflection and focus on objects, a milestone which chimps typically reach around 2-3 months old.

"Every milestone that chimp Maisie reaches brings her closer to being introduced to a surrogate mother and the troop!

" the zoo captioned the video.

The Maryland Zoo announced that they had decided on a name for the baby chimp earlier this month.

After asking fans online to help pick a name for the adopted chimpanzee, the zoo announced that by the time voting ended, the name Maisie edged out the competition. More than 9,500 votes were cast, the zoo added.

"We’re so happy she officially has a name," Pam Carter, chimpanzee forest area manager at the zoo, said in a press release. "Animal care staff use individual names, especially during training sessions. The chimpanzees all recognize their own names as well as each other’s, and being able to call her Maisie will help us make the important introductions to the troop when she is ready."

The animal arrived at the zoo in late September and is being cared for around the clock by the Chimp Forest Animal Care team. According to the zoo, at the start of November, Maisie was able to roll over as well as pull herself up into a seated position.

"Maisie drinks baby formula every three hours, sleeps, and has some playtime every day to help strengthen her muscles," Carter said. "We also wear a shirt and blanket that have fringe material sewn on that helps her learn to grip."

"Another reason we give recognizable names to animals in our care is that it helps create a unique bond between the animal and our visitors," said Margaret Rose-Innes, assistant general curator at the zoo.

"We hope that if they learn to care for the individual, they will also care about what we are doing to save that species, which is so important not just for our future generations, but also for the future of Maisie’s wild cousins," Rose-Innes added.