It's a boy! Now Twycross Zoo wants your help in naming baby gorilla
Zoo keepers have finally been able to find out the gender of a new baby gorilla - and he’s a boy!
His mother Ozala gave birth to her baby ten weeks ago, but experts at her home at Twycross Zoo were not able to get close enough to the protective mother to check the sex of her baby.
But after Ozala got more used to being a mum, zoo keepers now know the baby is a boy and are appealing for visitors to chose a name.
Charlotte Macdonald, curator of living collections at the zoo said: “Ozala was so protective of her newborn infant that she held it very close and it is only now that the infant is bigger, and Ozala has become more relaxed, that we have been able to see the infant closely enough to determine its gender.
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“The baby is a very important addition to the family and mum is confident and content enough to let dad, Oumbie, get a close look at the baby. He is very interested in his new son and in the future will play a very important role in helping him to develop.
“Ozala is still carrying the infant all the time and will continue to do so for some time. As the baby grows he will spend more and more time off mum but for the next couple of years he will never be far from her side. Baby is bright and active and is often seen awake sitting on his mum, while she grooms him or plays gently with him.”
Twycross Zoo is home to a family of western lowland gorilla and the new baby boy will grow up alongside his mum, dad Oumbie, grandma Biddi and auntie Asanté.
Charlotte added: “We’re very lucky that our gorilla group is made up of three generations all living together. This is a very positive step towards group welfare and provides a stable environment for our new young male to thrive.”
The western lowland gorilla is dangerously close to extinction and classified ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species, with fewer than 100,000 left in the wild. Zoo keepers have chosen four potential names - Mbali, Alembe, Lope and Loango - and are asking people to vote for their favourite.
You can tell the zoo which name you prefer on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TwycrossZoo