Hello there: NC Zoo’s new chimp named ‘Obi’


ASHEBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – From a galaxy far, far away to the North Carolina Zoo – Obi is the newest addition to a proud chimpanzee mother. 

The Zoo gave the public the chance to name the new baby boy chimpanzee and the winning name was “Obi.” 

The Zoo said Obi is a Nigerian word that means “one who charms” or “heart.”

But the Zoo also suspects many voted for the name thanks to Star Wars’ Obi Wan Kenobi – Jedi Master who taught Anakin Skywalker the ways of the Force – and later Luke Skywalker. 

Obi beat out Ayo, Kojo, and Masaka during the polling. 

  • Ayo (Eye-oh):  word of the Yoruba people for “full of joy or happiness”
  • Kojo: A word from Ghana meaning “born on Monday”
  • Masaka: large town in Uganda

Obi was born March 18 to Gerre, who is around 20 years old.

The Zoo said Gerre is “very protective of her young.”

Gerre is also mother to Genie, who was born on August 25, 2011, at the Dallas Zoo.

Both Gerre and Genie came to the North Carolina Zoo from the Dallas Zoo on November 14, 2012.

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