Zookeeper, Daniel Simmonds said, ““We’ll treat Mjukuu to a restful Mother’s Day this weekend – as life is about to get a whole lot more fun for mum at Gorilla Kingdom!”
Mijukuu’s daughter Alika who is now three months old has recently started teething. Gorillas develop at a similar rate to humans and keepers expect Alika to start adventuring on her own soon.
Alika has been dependent on Mijukuu for the past few months similar to a human. Unlike humans Alika has spent this time on her mother’s back as they have a strong clinging reflex helping them hold on while mom is climbing and foraging.
Often you will spot the infant in the crook of mums arms but she has been spending a bit more time on mum’s back which is an indication she will soon branch out on her own.
Simonds said, “Mjukuu has been an incredible mother from day one, and has taken parenting in her stride.”
“Until the last few days, she’s been cradling Alika in her arms and carrying her everywhere, but we’ve now spotted her carefully placing Alika on her back, so that she can move around more freely.”
“This, along with Alika getting her first teeth, is an exciting milestone for us, as it signals that she will soon be crawling and taking her first steps,” added Simonds.
Photo Credit: ZSL London Zoo