The Los Angeles Zoo has a very exciting new addition to their animal kingdom… one that they’ve been waiting for for a long, long time.
The zoo announced this month that one of their resident gorillas had given birth, giving the zoo its first gorilla baby in two decades… and visitors can’t get over how adorable she is!
The proud parents are 32-year-old Kelly and 25-year-old N’dija, now a fist-time mother.
They’re both Western lowland gorillas—a critically endangered species. N’dija arrived at the zoo in 2018 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program, the LA Zoo wrote.
So not only is the new baby adorable, she also represents an important step in the survival of the species.
“Every birth is a celebration, both in zoos and in the wild,” said Candace Sclimenti, curator of mammals at the L.A. Zoo. “We are thrilled about this baby because she will provide additional attention to this critically endangered species.”
“The L.A. Zoo has the unique opportunity to teach the public about conservation and what they can do to save animals from the threats they are facing in the wild.”
After much anticipation the birth was a big success, and the zoo celebrated. In February they announced that the baby was a girl.
In recent weeks she’s been taking in the world and bonding with mom. The zoo says the parents couldn’t be prouder of their little girl.
“Both N’djia and her beautiful newborn are doing wonderfully: N’djia is a loving mother, and Kelly is a supportive, protective dad,” they wrote on Instagram.
Visitors will be able to see the new arrival at the Campo Gorilla Reserve, though the zoo says she and her mom may keep to the behind-the-scenes areas during this early bonding period. They also request that visitors keep respectfully quiet around the baby.
But visitors who do get a peak will see this gorilla growing up fast—she’s already gone from being cradled to riding on mom’s back!
The new arrival is so exciting for everyone involved—this baby gorilla will grow up in front of generations of zoogoers, connecting them all with nature.
“The last few weeks have been so exciting watching first-time mom N’djia with her new baby,” said Beth Schaefer, director of animal programs at the zoo.
“We hope guests are enjoying this journey as much as we are.”
What a beautiful baby gorilla! Congratulations to these proud parents and everyone at the zoo for this precious miracle!
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