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A. 72

B. 32

C. 48

D. 21

Let's substitute [tex]\( x = 0 \)[/tex] into the function:

[tex]\[ f(0) = 32 (1.5)^0 \][/tex]

We know that any number raised to the power of 0 equals 1. Therefore:

[tex]\[ (1.5)^0 = 1 \][/tex]

Substituting this back into the function:

[tex]\[ f(0) = 32 \cdot 1 = 32 \][/tex]

So, the original population of chipmunks is:

[tex]\[ \boxed{32} \][/tex]

Therefore, the correct answer is B.