On September 27, as new mother Hlala Kahlili cradled her newborn infant, the U.K.'s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust celebrated the arrival of their first Western Lowland Gorilla in nine years. Western Lowland Gorillas are one of the world's most critically endangered primates, so this birth is significant for the species' breeding program.
The baby, whose gender is not yet known, is the first offspring of Badongo, a dominant silverback Gorilla who arrived at the park last year. Hlali Kahlili is an experienced mother, and this is her fourth baby.
Mark Brayshaw, Head of Animal Collection at Durrell said, “We are delighted with the great news and so far the mother and baby are doing well, but as with all births we need to be extra cautious during the first few days. At the moment the group including the new parents are all very relaxed and our keepers are remaining as hands off as possible as the group appears quite settled.”
Western Lowland Gorillas are native to the forests of equatorial Africa. They live in extended family groups, traversing the forest in search of fruit, leaves, and seeds.
Photo Credits: Will Bertram