A chimp has come to the rescue of three baby ducklings in Dublin Zoo.

The ducklings' mother had built her nest on the edge of the zoo’s Chimp Island.

Days after the chicks hatched, Bossou the chimp - who was said to be worried they were in danger from his island mates - ''rescued'' the little ones from the water.

Cradling them to his chest, the nine-year-old 60kg chimp brought the ducklings to safety.

A concerned member of the public contacted zookeepers, saying she had noticed a large chimp holding onto the ducklings.

Zookeeper Yvonne McCann enticed Bossou to the edge of the chimp habitat and traded each duckling for a banana.

The ducklings have been named Paddle, Waddle and Drake by their new home, the Dublin SPCA.

Dublin SPCA spokesperson Miriam Kerins said it is ''an incredible, truly touching and inspiring story of humanity and compassion shown by a gentle giant. Bossou is indeed a hero.

''The Dublin SPCA are pleased to announce that Paddle, Waddle and Drake are none the worse for their adventure and are having the time of their lives at the shelter.''