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October 07, 2020

Utamu: Path to Motherhood Part VII

"Getting to Know Grandma Rosebud"

Rosebud is the matriarch of the chimpanzee group here at the Saint Louis Zoo. She came to the Zoo from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2007. Rosebud, or Rosie, as the keepers call her, was immediately loved by the other chimpanzees and really enjoys being outside. She is approximately 49 years old and the mother of our soon-to-be new mom, Utamu. Rosie has a very high social ranking in the chimpanzee group even at her advanced age. She has many friends within the group but her strong positive relationships with all three males is particularly helpful in maintaining her high social status.

Rosie is very playful and will have fun with nearly all of the other chimpanzees. Her favorite food is banana, which she gets nearly every morning, yet she still gets excited every time. Rosie can often be seen with her daughter grooming, or laying with her best friend Beauty near the viewing shelters in the chimpanzee outdoor habitat. She sleeps in the same place every night and builds the most comfortable nest you could ever see. You can easily pick Rosie out of the group by her distinct messy hair and with her typically being in the middle of any large grooming session. 

Chimpanzee grandmothers play an integral role in how their offspring develop as mothers. Rosie, being such a good mother to Utamu and hopefully passing on those maternal skills, gives Utamu a helpful start in being a good mother to her new baby. In addition, Utamu will have the support of grandma Rosie to help take care of the new little one. 

Continue to follow Utamu: Path to Motherhood at to learn more about Utamu’s pregnancy and the work being done by Saint Louis Zoo staff in preparation for the upcoming birth.


Institute for Conservation Medicine

Scientists from the Saint Louis Zoo Institute of Conservation for Medicine co-authored a new paper entitled "Infectious Diseases, Livestock, and Climate: A Vicious Cycle?” published October 7 in Trends in Ecology & Evolution. The research was funded by the Living Earth Collaborative, a partnership between Washington University in St. Louis, the Saint Louis Zoo and Missouri Botanical Garden.