Melaka Zoo's amorous Coco the chimp needs a mate

MELAKA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A chimpanzee and three elephants at the Melaka Zoo and Night Safari are desperately seeking mates.

For the past eight years, Coco the female chimpanzee has been all by herself, and is now beginning to get amorous.

It is common to see Coco throwing branches and pebbles at visitors and handlers when they pass by her enclosure. She gets "jealous" upon seeing women walking past the enclosure with men and turns highly aggressive.

Coco has been in the zoo for 10 years, and she and her male partner Koki were gifted by the Singapore Zoo. Koki died in 2010.

State Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Tey Kok Kiew said the state government is aware that the chimp needs a partner.

He said it is among the issues the state government is hoping to solve since taking over the management of the menagerie on Oct 1.

Datuk Tey said that apart from Coco, there are three female elephants in need of mates and two lions without lionesses.

He said the lions are inactive and the elephants could turn aggressive without a partner.

"The Chief Minister and I will be making trips to the zoos in Singapore and Taiping to see whether we could adopt and initiate some animal transfer programmes," he said in an interview on Saturday (Oct 13).

Mr Tey said the zoo is also up for a major facelift, including cleaning the bacteria- and algae-filled ponds.

Director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Friends of the Orangutans, Mr Upreshpal Singh, said he hoped the Melaka Zoo would retire Coco and release her to her country of origin.

He said an African chimpanzee sanctuary was ready to accept Coco and he hoped the state government would give her a new lease of life.