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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Check me out! Determined baby chimp takes first faltering steps away from safety of his doting mother's arms

Wandering chimp photographed in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, Africa

By Emma Reynolds

..This is the moment an adorable baby chimp took his first faltering steps away from his mother.

His beard and wrinkles belying his tender years, the brave youngster looked a little unsteady on his feet as he determinedly approached the camera in a bid to show off his confidence.

But his courage soon faded and he fled back to the safety of his family.

Brave explorer: The tiny chimpanzee wobbles slightly as he tries to look tough for the camera

Growing up: The young animal is clearly keen to become independent, left, but is still deeply reliant on his doting mother, right

Photographer Konrad Wothe captured the sweet little chimp making his first forays out into the big wide world in the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, Africa.

The 59-year-old's incredible, close-up shots reveal the true depth of the wide-eyed baby's heart-warming relationship with his family.

In one photograph, the youthful chimp appears to smile as he is cradled in his devoted mother's arms.

In another, he cautiously eyes the camera while sticking close to his parent's side.

Mr Wothe, from Munich, Germany, was delighted to be able to photograph the young chimp from such close quarters.

He said: 'As soon as the babies reach the age of six months they start to explore and leave the safe body of the mother and climb in the trees.

Nuts to this: Konrad Wothe photographed the little chimp at the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania, Africa

I'd kill for a banana: The toddler relaxes with his mother in these rare and revealing close-up shots

'This baby was trying to intimidate me with short attacks, but before it reached me it ran back to mum and showed me grimaces.

'Within six days with the chimps I only had one close encounter with the baby and I was happy to get such nice shots.'

He added: 'You are lucky to find a female group of chimps and even more if they have a small baby among them.

'Each tourist or photographer has a limited time the apes. You are only allowed around an hour per day.

'The best time to see them is when they're on the ground. If they're up in the trees, it's very difficult to photograph them.'



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