I'll be your mummy and you be my little kitty cat: Anjana the chimp shows off her parenting skills...with a puma cub
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 7:51 AM on 31st August 2009
She has a tender heart, a nice hairy shoulder to cry on - and she knows where her zoo keeps the baby wipes.
So Anjana the chimpanzee is well qualified to be a kitten-sitter.
Since orphaned puma cub Sierra turned up at the zoo, Anjana has helped her human carers with all the feeding, cuddling and chasing duties.
Primate mum: Anjana the chimp helps zookeepers to care for orphaned puma cub, Sierra
The chimpanzee, who is five, has lived her whole life at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina, in the U.S..
She learned to care for little big cats while in the charge of resident feline curator China York.
Park director Dr Bhagavan Antle said: 'Chimpanzees are great learners and imitators so it wasn't long before she took on the right behaviours that were necessary to keep the kittens in line.
Milking it: Anjana makes sure Sierra gets fed and even knows where the wet wipes are kept
Careful now: A protective Anjana shadows Sierra on a stroll around the zoo
'If Sierra is running around too fast then Anjana will scoop her up and make sure she doesn't get into any trouble.'
Anjana has already helped to bring up two royal white tiger cubs, a leopard and four lions.
Dr Antle added: 'She is a great assistant. If you need a baby wipe you can just tell her and she'll run off and get it.'