Kapuki, Amari, Iniko or Muhuri? Islanders are being invited to pick their favourite Swahili name for the littlest member of the zoo’s gorilla troop, whom keepers have just revealed is a girl.
The baby western lowland gorilla was born to 26-year-old Bahasha on 15 November 2019 at Jersey Zoo.
The team at Jersey Zoo said they were excited to finally share the news of the baby’s gender with the public.
With the help of the Government of Jersey, they have produced a video in which silverback Badongo can be seen helping with the reveal.
Video: Silverback Badongo helped with the special announcement.
In the video, Senior Mammal Keeper, Mark Beresford said keepers waited to be absolutely sure of the baby’s gender before revealing the news as it can be difficult to tell the sex of baby gorillas or to be really certain about it.
With the previous baby gorilla having been a male – “the very energetic and boisterous Indigo,” as Mr Beresford described him – a baby girl should bring “an interesting change in troop dynamic” both for the gorillas and the keepers.
“This has been a hugely exciting time for the ape team at Jersey Zoo, from when we first found out Bahasha was pregnant in May, up until announcing the sex of the baby,” Mr Beresford said.
Pictured: A baby girl should bring “an interesting change in troop dynamic” both for the gorillas and the keepers.
“We would have been thrilled either way of course as all gorilla babies are important additions to the international breeding programme of this critically endangered species.”
Durrell is now inviting members of the public to get involved in the naming of the baby gorilla, who is said to be developing exactly how keepers would have hoped.
“She is very alert, constantly testing her environment within reach, and has also begun to crawl and climb by herself under the watchful eye of mum,” Mr Beresford said.
Pictured: The baby girl was born on 15 November to 16-year-old Bahasha.
The keepers have picked four Swahili names and are asking the public to pick their favourite online.
The four shortlisted names and their meanings are:
The baby’s name will be announced on 5 May.
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