Gorilla

UPDATE! Columbus Zoo Baby Gorilla Gets Name

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The baby Gorilla born on May 23 at the Columbus Zoo now has a name! He is called Kamoli (pronounced Kam-aw-lee) and he looks pretty happy about that! Since first-time mom Kambera didn't seem to be a natural at mothering skills, the zoo's animal care experts have been raising him, providing the around-the-clock care and nurturing that he needed to grow and become healthy and strong. His keepers spend quite a bit of time near Kambera with the hope of being able to reunite Kamoli with her in the near future. Stay tuned.

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Photo Credit: Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The baby continues to thrive and now you can see him in action in the video below: 

ZooBorns first covered the story of his birth HERE on June 10, where you can see his early pictures and learn more. See more pictures of baby Kamoli after the fold:

Continue reading "UPDATE! Columbus Zoo Baby Gorilla Gets Name" »


Rare Gorilla Twins Surprise Staff at Burgers' Zoo

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When zoo keepers entered the Gorilla House at the Netherlands’ Burgers' Zoo on June 13, they were taken by surprise:  N’Gayla, the 20-year-old female Gorilla, had delivered twin babies overnight!

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Photo Credit:  Burgers Zoo

Keepers knew that N’Gayla was pregnant, but they were not expecting her to deliver until later in the summer, and they were certainly not expecting twins.  Gorillas normally have just one baby at a time.  Twins in Gorillas are much rarer than in humans. 

Surprised keeper Wilco Limpers explained what he saw that morning.  “At first I did not expect to see twins.  I was watching N’Gayla lick her baby clean, and suddenly she grabbed something from within the straw bedding – another baby Gorilla! I really did not know what I saw.  Gorilla twins are seen only once or twice every ten years in European zoos.”

Baby Gorillas are small and helpless, requiring round-the-clock care from their mothers.  Though N’Gayla has her hands full, she is an experienced mother who has already raised three youngsters successfully.  The twins’ father, 23-year-old Bauwi, will play only a minor role in their care.

See more photos of the twins below the fold.

Continue reading "Rare Gorilla Twins Surprise Staff at Burgers' Zoo" »


Boy oh Boy! Baby Gorilla Born at Columbus Zoo

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There's a lot of excitement at Ohio's Columbus Zoo over a brand new baby Gorilla, born on May 23, to Gorilla parents Kambera and  Oliver. The little one arrived at  at 3:22 a.m., weighing 5 pounds, a healthy weight for a newborn Gorilla. And it's a boy!

Kambera, being a first-time mom, displayed a lack of maternal skills, so the zoo's animal care experts are raising him in an environment that provides around-the-clock care and nurturing. They spend a significant amount of time close to Kambera with the hope of being able to reunite the baby with her in the near future. The baby has clearly done very well and is bright-eyed, healthy and energetic. Visitors can now see him daily from noon to 3 p.m. in the indoor Gorilla yard.

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Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo

Gorillas live in moist tropical forests, or along the edge of forests, near clearings with an abundance of low, edible vegetation. Mountain gorillas range up into cloud forests.

Female gorillas reach maturity at seven or eight years old, but they usually don't breed until they reach ten plus years. Wild males tend to not breed before they are 15 years old, because there is greater competition between males to get with females.  Gestation is close to human timing, taking about about eight and a half months, usually resulting in one baby. Babies can begin to walk around within three to six months, but take up until about three years old to be fully weaned. Zoo Gorillas may reach sexual maturity earlier, and have babies more often than they do in the wild.

Gorillas also tend to live much longer in zoos -- up to their mid-fifties compared to the mid-thirties in the wild. Western Lowland and Cross River Gorillas are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eastern Lowland and Mountain Gorillas are listed as Endangered on the Red List.

 


Gladys Goes Outside! Baby Gorilla and Her Human Surrogate Made Public Debut

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The Cincinnati Zoo's 3-month-old Western Lowland Gorilla named Gladys made her public debut in the outdoor yard on April 30. Over the next month, Gladys will be doing this with her human surrogates as part of Phase III of her “gorillification.” The surrogates will allow her to explore all areas of the outdoor yard, climb trees and duck into caves. Besides being enriching, this process will ensure Gladys is familiar with the yard and comfortable when she goes out again with her gorilla surrogate in the future.

Gladys was born at the Gladys Porter Zoo on January 29. The mother, 14 -year-old Kiazi, didn't respond well to the infant and ultimately rejected her. This behavior, which occasionally happens in first-time mothers, resulted in keepers from the Gladys Porter Zoo stepping in to hand-rear the infant until they had a plan in place. Unfortunately, all of the viable surrogates there already had young gorillas, so they began to look elsewhere.  After countless phone calls with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Maternal Management Committee and the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) Committee, the Cincinnati Zoo was determined to be the best home for the baby. Gladys is currently being hand raised by a group of approximately 10 human surrogates, until she can transition to a gorilla surrogate in the coming months.

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Photo Credit: Cincinnati Zoo

Western Lowland Gorillas are Critically Endangered, with less than 175,000 individuals in the wild. Due primarily to habitat destruction caused by logging, mineral mining and agricultural expansion, wild gorilla numbers continue to shrink.  The bushmeat trade – the killing of wild animals to be used as human food – is also a major threat to the Western Lowland Gorilla population throughout the Central African rainforests.  Over 1,000 gorillas are illegally poached for the bushmeat trade each year.

See more picturess of Gladys and her surrogates on their first outing below the fold:

Continue reading "Gladys Goes Outside! Baby Gorilla and Her Human Surrogate Made Public Debut" »


Baby Gorilla Gets a Name at Oklahoma City Zoo

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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.

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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.



Update! Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Gets Fuzzy Surrogates

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Recently we reported HERE on a little baby Gorilla who made a journey across the country from Texas to the Cincinnati Zoo to be hand reared after her birth mother wasn't able to provide her with proper care. We are happy to report that the little girl, who has since been named Gladys in honor of the zoo at which she was born, is doing well and has taken quite fondly to her surrogates. With a little help from some special attire that is. 

Keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo had faux fur company, Fabulous Furs, manufacture an artificial gorilla vest for surrogates to wear when taking care of little Gladys. The local company graciously provided the vests free of charge. “Helping animals is at the heart of everything we do at Fabulous-Furs and we’re long-time supporters of the Cincinnati Zoo’s animal conservation efforts,” said Donna Salyers, President of Fabulous Furs. “Fabulous Furs is known for the world’s finest faux furs and believing one of our fabrics might help make baby Gladys’ life easier made helping an easy decision. Now, as we share Gladys’ story with our kids and grandkids, their enthusiasm makes it even more meaningful. We’re absolutely thrilled to contribute.”

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Photo credits: David Jenike / Cincinnati Zoo

 

See and learn more after the fold!

Continue reading "Update! Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla Gets Fuzzy Surrogates" »


Baby Gorilla Leaves Texas for New Home in Cincinnati

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A four-week-old female Gorilla born at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, made a cross-country trip on a private plane to her new home at the Cincinnati Zoo last week.

Cincinnati Zoo Primate Team Leader Ron Evans and Nursery Head Keeper Dawn Strasser accompanied the baby on the private flight.  “The baby was great,” said Strasser.  “She never left my arms.”

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Photo Credits:  Gladys Porter Zoo & Cinncinati Zoo

 

The baby, who is still unnamed, was born on January 29 to 14-year old female Kiazi and 28-year-old silverback male Moja.  Because Kiazi was not providing appropriate maternal care, the baby was being hand-reared by keepers at the Gladys Porter Zoo. All parties agreed that relocation was the best course of action for the baby and because the Cincinnati Zoo has two female Gorillas available to serve as potential surrogate mothers, it was decided that the baby should go there. Her introduction process to a new Gorilla troop will be gradual to ensure a favorable integration.

The baby will spend time behind the scenes for the next few days as she is evaluated by zoo veterinarians. She will then move to her more permanent home at the Cincinnati Zoo.


Baby Gorilla Smiles for the Camera at Twycross Zoo

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A baby Western Lowland Gorilla born at the United Kingdom’s Twycross Zoo on January 3 adds a third generation to their already close-knit Gorilla group.

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Photo credits: Gillian Day taken at Twycross Zoo

 

Ozala was born at Twycross Zoo in 1994. The newborn joins a family unit made up of father Oumbi and grandmother, Biddi. Ozala's half-sister Asante will also provide a helping hand as the young Gorilla grows up.

Charlotte added: "The baby will be carried around by mum for the next couple of years but will, of course, gradually become more independent, just going back to Ozala for reassurance and comfort.”

Listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, fewer than 100,000 Western Lowland Gorillas remain in the wild, bringing the species dangerously close to extinction. Hunting, habitat loss and the Ebola virus have contributed to the species’ decline.

Zoological Director Sharon Redrobe added: "Because the Western Lowland Gorilla is such an endangered species every Gorilla birth is important, and this infant represents another vital contribution to the European Endangered Species breeding programme and to the conservation of this species.”

See more photos below the fold.

Continue reading "Baby Gorilla Smiles for the Camera at Twycross Zoo" »


Baby Gorilla's Arrival Celebrated at Prague Zoo

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The Prague Zoo received a very special Christmas present this year:  Western Lowland Gorilla Kijivu delivered a healthy baby boy on December 22, just a few months after another of her offspring died in a freak accident.

The baby’s delivery went smoothly with no problems, according to Prague Zoo staff.  Kijivu is an experienced mother, and this is her fourth baby with the zoo’s male Gorilla, Richard. 

In July, Kijivu’s second offspring, 5-year-old male Tatu, accidentally hanged himself with a climbing rope in the Gorilla enclosure.  This devastating event was called one of the worst tragedies in Prague Zoo’s history, and makes the new infant’s arrival even more significant for the zoo staff and the captive Gorilla population. 

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Western Lowland Gorillas are the most widespread of all Gorilla subspecies, inhabiting the dense rain forests of western and central Africa.  In some parts of their range, the population is decreasing by 5% each year as Gorillas are captured as pets or killed for bushmeat.  As timber and mining companies encroach on the area, valuable Gorilla habitat is destroyed.  The deadly Ebola virus is estimated to have killed up to one-third of wild Gorillas. 

Photo credit  Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo

World's Oldest Gorilla Celebrates Birthday at Columbus Zoo

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Meet Colo, the world’s oldest known Gorilla. Born December 22, 1956 at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Colo was the first of her kind ever born at a zoo. In fact, it would be another five years until a second Lowland Gorilla was born at a zoo and a further five years for a third.

For Colo’s 56th birthday this weekend, the Columbus Zoo presented her with a specially prepared cake and presents that included her favorite food... tomatoes!  Guests joined in on the fun by singing happy birthday to her, along with the staff.

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Now, at 56 years old, Colo has also broken the longevity record previously held by Jenny at the Dallas Zoo, who died at age 55 in 2008. And, in 1983, her grandsons were the first twin Gorillas born in the western hemisphere.

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All in all, Colo is the mother of three, grandmother of 16, great grandmother of seven and great great grandmother of two! Colo had three babies, Emmy, Oscar and Toni. Emmy was the first second-generation Gorilla born in a zoo and Toni gave birth to Cora, who was the first third-generation Gorilla born in a zoo. 

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Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

There are currently 15 endangered Lowland Gorillas at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium including Colo, her daughter Toni, grandson Mac, granddaughter Cassie and great-granddaughter Dotty.

Sadly, life for Western Lowland Gorillas in the wild is much different than Colo’s. Habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal bushmeat trade are constant threats for this critically endangered species. The Columbus Zoo helps protect Western Lowland Gorillas in the wild, supporting conservation efforts and distributing more than $1 million annually in conservation grants worldwide.