Belfast Zoo is home to an array of incredible wildlife hailing from all over the world. Now, the zoo welcomes an adorable new arrival, and we think we’re in love.
Belfast Zoo welcomes a new resident, an adorable yet critically endangered baby gorilla.
The zoo took to social media to post pictures of its cute new addition; the general public couldn’t get enough of the adorable little ape.
Born on 8 October, the zoo kept the news on the down-low. Yesterday, however, the zoo took to Facebook to reveal the birth of the adorable new resident.
An adorable new resident – already a popular little guy or girl
The endangered baby gorilla born at Belfast Zoo has already proven popular among social media users, amassing over 6,000 likes on Facebook.
The charming photos show the baby gorilla clinging to the chest of its mother, Kamili. Alongside the photos, Belfast Zoo explains it has been unable to determine the gender as of yet. This is because baby gorillas cling to their mothers for the first few months.
The post reads, “The baby is looking strong and healthy, and Kamili is an experienced and excellent mother. We don’t know the gender of the baby just yet!
“Newborn gorillas cling to their mother’s stomach for the first few months, and so it will be a while before the gender can be determined.”
Endangered baby gorilla born at Belfast Zoo – loving parents
The adorable baby ape was born on Friday, 8 October, to mother Kamili, shown in pictures, and silverback gorilla, Gugas.
The new resident is a western lowland gorilla. This critically endangered species’ population is estimated to be less than 100,000.
Belfast Zoo is part of an international conservation and breeding programme that focuses on safeguarding the future of the western lowland gorilla species.
Thus, the birth of this adorable baby gorilla is an extra special occasion.
This is the second baby welcomed by parents Kamili and Gugas. In 2014, the parents gave birth to Kibibi, meaning ‘little lady’ in Swahili.
An important conservation programme – safeguarding the species’ future
The birth of the endangered baby gorilla at Belfast Zoo is a cause for celebration in Northern Ireland and further afield.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) class Western lowland gorillas as critically endangered.
Hailing from the dense forest of western central Africa, these herbivores graze on fruit, shoots, bulbs, tree bark, and leaves. These peaceful animals spend most of their time eating and sleeping.
Julie Mansell, Curator at Belfast Zoo, said the birth is fantastic new for the zoo. “We are part of an internationally important breeding and conservation programme, which is designed to help safeguard the future of western lowland gorillas.
“Gorillas are facing the real and severe risk of extinction in their native habitat due to habitat loss as well as the pet trade. Adults are also killed for bushmeat and trophy hunting.”
The zoo is welcoming visitors along to see the baby gorilla in the zoo’s gorilla house.
The zoo is open every day from 10 am to 4 pm, with last admission at 2:30 pm and online booking is essential. Find out more here.