It's a Boy!

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It's a Boy!

Friday, 01 April 2011

Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of a bouncing, baby western lowland gorilla. Proud mum, Lena, gave birth to a healthy, baby gorilla at 4.15pm on Sunday 27th March. The newborn weighs only 2kgs.

Lena, who was born in 1984, is an experienced mother and this is her fifth baby. She has a very close relationship with the baby’s father Harry the dominant silverback of the Zoo’s group of gorillas. Dad Harry was born in 1986 and is an experienced, relaxed male and an excellent father. Harry stays close to Lena and the newborn keeping a protective eye on them at all times. As the leader, Harry is responsible for the group’s well-being.

Ciaran McMahon, team leader responsible for the gorillas said, “The youngster is doing very well, within minutes the baby was feeding from mum Lena which is a very good sign. We can tell that the infant is strong because there are a lot of head movements.”

The baby gorilla, yet to be named, will join two brothers Alfie (born 2003) and Evindi (born 2006) and Mayani, a female gorilla who moved to Dublin Zoo from Stuttgart Zoo in 2005.
Evindi, who is the second youngest gorilla is curious about the new arrival and is staying close to mum and baby. Keepers have noticed that every so often he tenderly touches the baby’s head or tummy.

The new arrival is a great success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European breeding programme for these critically endangered primates.  Dublin Zoo is one of a few zoos to have a gorilla family living together and the bonds between the group are very strong.

Western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The numbers of these primates living in the wild is expected to fall by over 80 between 1980 and 2046 with commercial hunting and a highly contagious virus called Ebola being the two main threats facing their survival.

As a celebration of this gorilla birth and for Mothers Day, Dublin Zoo will have a range of fun activities taking place this weekend such as special keeper talks focusing on mums in the Zoo, face-painting and arts and crafts. Extra gorilla keeper talks will take place on Mother’s Day at 12pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm.

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