Proud mum, Lena, gave birth to a healthy, baby gorilla at 4.15pm on Sunday 27th March. The newborn weighs only 2kgs and so far keepers are unable to tell if it is a boy or a girl because Lena is keeping the baby close to her chest.
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 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.
Photo credits: Dublin Zoo
Via: Dublin Zoo
Lena’s pride and joy is a boy