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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

Critically Endangered Lowland Gorillas Born in London and Prague

Celebrations are underway at two major zoos as they welcome their newest arrivals

 

It’s always good to hear news of baby animals being born, but when those animals are lowland gorillas, it’s especially heartening. London and Prague Zoos have both welcomed baby gorillas this month as part of an international conservation breeding programme for the subspecies. Lowland gorillas were officially declared critically endangered in 2007, facing threats from illegal hunting, habitat loss and disease.


London Zoo’s new addition was born after just 17 minutes to mother, Mjukku and father Kiburi. Primates Section Manager at Kathryn Sanders said:


‘The birth of a western lowland gorilla at the zoo is a real cause for celebration – the subspecies is critically endangered and their wild numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 25 years. To say that we’re happy about this new arrival would be a huge understatement.’


The sex of the newborn gorilla is yet to be determined as the zookeepers want to give mother and baby time to bond, and let the rest of the troop get to know the baby.





At Prague Zoo, a female baby was born to mother Duni, a western lowland gorilla brought over two years ago from Spain, and father Kisumu. Duni’s mother Moja was the first gorilla to be born at Prague Zoo, later being transported to Spain before giving birth to Duni. The name of the new arrival is set to be chosen from proposals sent in by children from Cameroon.    


Miroslav Bobek, Director of Prague Zoo, said:

‘We rejoice in the first gorilla baby born in the Dja Reserve pavilion,’ he said. ‘Our joy is even greater because it continues the story of the famous Moja. The birth of the baby resulted from the difficult decision to divide the existing gorilla group and bring in a new male. Thanks to this, we acquired Moja's daughter Duni in Prague, and we can breed gorillas.’




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