The Dublin Zoo just got a little more crowded. And a whole lot cuter!
One of the zoo's western lowland gorillas has given birth to a new baby. Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered, so every birth is to be celebrated.
The parents, named Kafi and Bangui, have taken to their new roles with gusto.
"Kafi is doing a fantastic job so far as a first-time mother, keeping the young baby physically close in these crucial early stages."
Said Helen Clarke-Bennett, team leader of the African Plains at the zoo.
"Bangui is proving to be an attentive father and at night has been sleeping close to Kafi and the baby."
https://t.co/SKWFonS7sk— Dublin Zoo (@Dublin Zoo)1554724266.0
A big congrats to momma Kafi!
@DublinZoo Congratulations to the proud parents & to the staff— 💃🏼 Gráinne O’Hagan 💃🏼 (@💃🏼 Gráinne O’Hagan 💃🏼)1554722563.0
congratulations to Kafi, a magnificent and gorgeous creature, on the birth of her first baby. https://t.co/fHI1xLLIJH— susan abulhawa (@susan abulhawa)1555161204.0
Kafi has been doing a great job keeping the baby close at all times. She's been very attentive, possibly a little too much.
The Dublin Zoo staff have not yet been able to inspect the baby and determine its sex. Because of this, they haven't had a chance to name it.
It's not all human superficiality though. The team is waiting for Kafi to be willing to part with her baby for a moment so they can give the baby a check-up, and ensure it's healthy.
In the meantime though, Kafi has been learning from the other mother gorillas and taking good care of the baby.
Beautiful photos! 💞💞 First-Time Gorilla Mom at Dublin Zoo Can't Stop Holding and Smiling at Her New Baby https://t.co/BTRvRAoapm— Adrianna Gallo (@Adrianna Gallo)1555470971.0
I love how adoringly she looks at her baby. First-Time Gorilla Mom at Dublin Zoo Can't Stop Holding and Smiling at… https://t.co/uPSUYUPAIV— S. E. Peters (@S. E. Peters)1555103126.0
@IrishTimes I love the way she will not let her go for long enough to allow them to see if the baby is male or fema… https://t.co/YDOJyDIONX— Misha B (@Misha B)1555105309.0
As mentioned, this species of gorilla is critically endangered. It's expected that their population will have dropped 80% from 1980 to 2046 due to deforestation, hunting, and the spread of deadly diseases.
Conservation efforts are underway, but difficult. This is why new babies in protected environments are so important.
Kafi's baby is the 11th baby gorilla to be born at the zoo since the 1980s.
This has also been a proving ground for Bangui. The father of the new gorilla was brought in last year following the death of the old silverback Harry.
Bangui has taken to the alpha-male role and obviously can fulfill the breeding role.
"It helps that he came from a very good social grouping. He has seen youngsters being born. It's all very hopeful for settling in with our group. It's a high-pressure job."
We'll see how the parents handle their child when it gets older.
@people Ah! You just wait till he/she is a sassy toddler mummy Kafi. Mine told me her *legs hurt* when I asked her… https://t.co/bKJbb6ZdyK— Victoria Jude (@Victoria Jude)1554896441.0
When the zoo does have the chance to find out the baby's sex, they plan to have a naming contest. Let's just hope they don't leave the whole thing up to the internet, or it'll end up as "Gorilla McGorillaFace" or "Harambe".