The keepers at Jersey Zoo are delighted to reveal that the baby western lowland gorilla born to 26-year-old Bahasha on 15th November 2019 is female. At just over five months old, the gorilla keepers are now confident to confirm the sex of the infant.
Senior Mammal Keeper, Mark Beresford, said the team is excited to finally share this news with the public. “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. 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. With our previous infant being male, the very energetic and boisterous Indigo, I’m sure it will be an interesting change in troop dynamic for our gorillas and for us keepers too.”
Mark continued, “In her first five months, the baby has been developing exactly how we 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.”
Durrell is now inviting members of the public to get involved in the naming of the baby gorilla. The keepers have put together a list of their favourite Swahili names and now they would like the public to have the final decision. The baby’s name will be announced on Tuesday 5th May and votes can be placed at www.durrell.org/gorilla-naming
The gorilla keepers have had to keep this exciting news to themselves for a little while as the Trust waited for the right time to make the announcement. In a special video on Jersey Zoo’s social media channels produced in partnership with the Government of Jersey, silverback Badongo helps zookeeper Mark to reveal that the newest member of the troop is a little girl. Durrell hopes this news and the chance to help name the baby will bring smiles to people’s faces during this difficult time.