Baby gorilla 'thriving' at Belfast Zoo

Baby gorilla 'thriving' at Belfast Zoo

Six months on from his birth, the first Western lowland gorilla to be delivered at Belfast Zoo in 16 years, is said to be thriving as he monkeys around with the rest of his family.

UTV went to visit little Baako on Tuesday and saw firsthand how he has been gaining confidence, progressing from being cradled on his mummy's tummy to clinging onto her back.Discovering his mum Kwanza was pregnant was exciting for the zoo team, especially as the new arrival for this endangered species is particularly significant.Baako's dad Gugas is a silverback who, although he spent time in captivity, was born in the wild - making him genetically very important to the European breeding programme."We knew that Kwanza was pregnant last year, but we were also aware that she was a first time mum - which comes with its own set of risks," zoo curator Julie Mansell said."However, Kwanza has become a 'zooper' mother and Baako is absolutely thriving."And now there is more good news for the zoo's gorilla family, as another of the group - Kamili - is expecting her own little bundle of joy.According to Belfast Zoo, she has been getting plenty of practice in helping to take care of baby Baako and is showing natural mothering instincts.That new arrival is expected sometime this spring.You can support the care of Belfast Zoo's gorillas by taking part in the animal adoption scheme.


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