Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Have you heard the one about a baby chimpanzee adopted by a mastiff?

You’ve probably seen pictures of this chimpanzee, who bonded with a dog that is usually identified as a mastiff. This photo and others have been published by newspapers and bloggers around the world, and they’ve been shared by email, sometimes with some pretty outrageous stories. One said that the chimpanzee was adopted by a family in Orlando. The person who sent me that story and pictures was concerned about the health of the chimpanzee, and asked if I could help.
I’ve tracked down this little lady, and she is doing fine. A Russian zoo person who is familiar with the chimp tells me she was born at Nikolaev Zoo (Ukraine), on Jan 30, 2007. Her number in the European chimpanzee studbook is 13478. At some point, it appears that a keeper from Nikolaev Zoo took the baby chimpanzee to her home for a while. (Zoo keepers in the U.S. used to bring home animals, too. My dad did it, and I still have the picture of Tommy and Mary.) This chimpanzee was transferred to Kharkov Zoo (Ukraine) on Feb 27, 2008, and she is still there. I sent an inquiry to the Kharkov Zoo, and they tell me her name is Ника, which translates into “Nick.”
(By the way, the dog is a Cane Corso, not a mastiff.)

Just thought you'd want to know, for the next time someone sends you the pictures with some new weird story...


  1. Thanks for looking into this, I always question these images with stories and I never find them "cute" is a blog I wrote encouraging people to think before circulating these images. Thanks - Gigi

  2. Gigi, that is an excellent post. I have to find a permanent place for a link, so it is always at hand.

  3. A Cane Corso IS a mastiff. Italian mastiff.