Chester Zoo welcomes birth of world’s rarest chimpanzee - and fans think he be should be named after Jeff Beck

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The zoo traditionally name their chimpanzees after legendary rock or pop stars.

An endangered Western chimpanzee, which conservationists say is the world’s rarest breed, has been born at Chester Zoo. Around 80% of Western chimpanzees have been wiped out in the wild, leaving them on the brink of extinction.

Mum, ZeeZee, welcomed the birth of her baby boy after an eight-month pregnancy and the zoo said the birth ‘gives hope’ to the ‘critically endangered species.’

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“[We are] incredibly proud to see a precious new baby in the chimpanzee troop,” Andrew Lenihan, team manager at Chester Zoo, has said. “You’ll often see the new baby being passed between other females who want to lend a helping hand and give ZeeZee some well-deserved rest, and that’s exactly what her daughter, Stevie, is doing with her new brother. It looks as though she’s taken a real shine to him, which is great to see.”

The zoo believes the birth of the chimpanzee provides a small but vital step in the conservation of the western chimpanzee, which are under significant threat in the wild as a result of hunting for the illegal bushmeat trade and extensive habitat loss and forest destruction across West Africa.

Only 8,000 Western chimpanzees remain across Africa and it was declared critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016.

Chester Zoo traditionally name their chimpanzees after legendary rock or pop stars, and fans have taken to Twitter to share their suggestions.

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Several users are suggesting the new baby boy be named ‘Jeff’ or ‘Beck’ after it was announced that guitar legend, Jeff Beck, passed away aged 78. One user said: “His name better be ‘Jeff’ or ‘Beck’ or what even is the point?”

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