Little Larry's mother Loko has lived at a sanctuary in Cameroon run by Ape Action Africa since 2007, when she lost her own mom to poachers as a baby. Loko is now 10 years old, and she shares an enclosure with a group of female and male chimps. The sanctuary team puts the females on birth control to prevent any unexpected surprises, but Loko somehow managed to get pregnant - although she kept it a secret until the very end.
"It was surprising because Loko didn't show any of the usual signs of pregnancy," Elissa O'Sullivan, spokesperson for Ape Action Africa, told The Dodo. "She didn't gain weight or have an obvious 'bump.' She also likes to spend long periods of time deep inside her group's forested enclosure, so she wasn't able to be observed as easily as some of her group-mates."
On the evening of April 12, 2015, Loko refused to join her group inside their cage for the night, preferring to stay inside the forest. This wasn't unusual for Loko, O'Sullivan explained, so the caretakers allowed her to do what she wanted.
The next morning, Loko emerged from the forest cradling a tiny infant. Her infant. It was then that the sanctuary team realized Loko had been pregnant. The gestation period for chimps is between 230 to 260 days, so they were astounded that they didn't know.