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New Baby Gorilla Makes 131!


Gorilla keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury were delighted when another baby Gorilla was born on August 15. This is the fifth baby for mom Tamba, who is part of the Gorilla group headed by silverback Kouillou.

Neil Spooner, Animal Director at Howletts, said “Tamba and Kouillou are excellent parents and I’m so pleased that we have another addition to their family group”. The birth of this little one brings the total number of successful gorilla births between Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks to an impressive 131!

Tamba will hold her baby until it is about two months old, after which it will be able to ride on her back clinging to her fur. The baby will be dependent on Tamba for three or four years as it learns from her and the family how to find food, socialize, make nests and raise young. Gorillas breed very slowly. Females first breed when they are about 10 years old and give birth to a single infant every four to five years. Newborn gorillas are very small, weighing about 4-5 pounds (2kg), and are dependent on their mothers much like a human child.

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Baby mouth
Photo Credits: Howletts Wild Animal Park

The western lowland gorilla is endangered in the wild due to the illegal bushmeat trade, the Ebola virus and deforestation. Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks have the largest collection of these gorillas and have successfully reintroduced several to the wild in a protected reserve spanning the Congo and Gabon called the Batéké Plateau.