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Chimpanzee makes debut at Zoo Knoxville
Published December 30, 2022, 12:21 p.m.

chimpanzee stevie zoo knoxvilleStevie is ready to make her debut at Zoo Knoxville this weekend; image by Zoo Knoxville

KNOXVILLE -- Zoo Knoxville is excited to announce that Stevie, an 8-month-old chimpanzee, is ready to make her official public debut this weekend. Zoo guests can see her in the Chimp Ridge indoor courtyard from 10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. She will have the option to explore her outdoor habitat in the afternoons, weather permitting.

Stevie has won the hearts of millions who have been following her story since she was born. When her mother experienced medical complications with her birth, it was necessary for her to be hand-raised by a round-the-clock team of human caregivers. Once she had reached key developmental milestones, most importantly how to come to a mesh window for bottle feeding, she was ready to be introduced to adult chimpanzees. In November, she was introduced to surrogate mothers Daisy and Jambo, who are caring for her and helping her develop social behaviors. Although her biological mother Binti has shown no maternal interest, the hope is to introduce her into the group in the future. Stevie is busy learning how to be a chimpanzee from Daisy and Jambo and now only relies on her human caregivers for bottle feedings.

chimpanzee stevie zoo knoxville8-month-old Stevie enjoying playtime and snuggling with her surrogate moms; image by Zoo Knoxville

Chimpanzees are an endangered species, and being driven to extinction by habitat loss, disease, and illegal poaching. Zoo Knoxville is working in partnership with 32 other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to ensure a healthy population remains in human care as hope for the future.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit

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