A male Western Lowland Gorilla born at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Valentine’s Day was given a name on his one-month birthday: the baby will be called Leom, which combines the last two letters of his mother’s name, Kelele, and his father’s name, Bom Bom.
Leom is the first birth for 19-year-old Kelele, who has ben providing excellent care to her newborn. Female Gorillas carry their infants 24 hours a day, never putting them down. Leom’s father, Bom Bom, was a beloved 36-year-old silverback who died in July 2012 of cardiac arrest.
Photo Credits: Andrea Wright (1,3,4,5); Gillian Lang (2)
The zoo’s three young male Gorillas, who have never seen a baby Gorilla before, are very curious about Leom. Kelele, always protective of her baby, keeps her distance from them for now.
With Leom’s birth, the Oklahoma City Zoo continues its involvement in the
Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA). One of the SSP's most important roles is to ensure that the Gorilla
population remains healthy, genetically-diverse, and self-sustaining.