Mijukuu a female gorilla at the zoo gave birth overnight and keepers discovered the infant this morning. She has been pregnant for the past eight and a half months.
Daniel Simmonds, a gorilla keeper at London Zoo said, “We are thrilled with the birth of a baby gorilla here at ZSL London Zoo and mum and infant are both doing really well.”
“Mjukuu gave birth overnight, surrounded by the rest of the troop – who all seem very pleased, and quite intrigued, by the new arrival,” he added.
Mijukuu will spend some time off exhibit so she can bond with the baby. The rest of the troop will also be given this opportunity.
Kukumba is the father of the baby. He moved from Paignton Zoo to London in May 2013. This is his first offspring. He has taken his role as group leader quite well.
He took a liking to Mijukuu and keepers were delighted that she was pregnant with a year of his arrival.
The birth is very important as Simmonds explained, “Western-lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild, so this infant is a really important addition not only to the Zoo, but for the European conservation breeding programme.”
Through the European conservation programme zoos are working to maintain genetic diversity amongst the gorillas in captivity. By doing this they can keep the healthy into the future.
Photo Credits: London Zoo