If you haven’t already heard, ZSL London Zoo is hearing the pitter patter of new gorilla feet. Our female gorilla Mujukuu has given birth to a new baby gorilla, letting first-time father, Kumbuka the silverback, get to grips with family life.
Gorillas are one of only four primates that are known as ‘great apes’, meaning their DNA is very closely linked to ours. Great apes distinguish themselves by walking upright for long periods of time and having large developed brains. Gorillas are also listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, making this new baby very important indeed.
To help you get acquainted with this very special arrival, here are some top gorilla baby facts:
- A female gorilla is pregnant for around 8.5 months, not too dissimilar to a human’s pregnancy. Now that our baby is out in the world, he/she will be hanging onto Mum for the next 2 months before he/she learns to crawl.
Babies will be reliant on their mothers for up to 3 years before they start braving the world on their own.
- Baby gorillas are able to stay on their mother’s backs by clinging onto the long hair. Don’t worry though, Mum doesn’t feel a thing and it lets her use her hands for walking.
- A male gorilla can sometimes be twice the size of their female counterpart, making him the dominant force in a gorilla group. Yet despite the silverback’s fearsome reputation, they’re actually quite caring fathers. Male gorillas will even participate in juvenile playtime, meaning our new arrival is going to be in good hands with Kumbuka.
- How do you recognise a gorilla? With their noses, obviously! No two gorilla noses are the same, making this trademark the best way to identify them in the wild. However, our new arrival is easy to spot. Hint hint: it’s the smallest gorilla.
- Okay, this last fact isn’t really about BABY gorillas but we think it’s too good not to share. The world ‘gorilla’ stems from a Greek word that means ‘tribe of hairy women’!
Select a blog
Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the month.
Get the latest on ZSL's conservation work in Asia.
Find out more about life in our B.U.G.S exhibit
A new Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.
See the latest ranges, updates and special offers from our exciting new online shop.
Excerpts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo. Bringing you amazing animal facts and exclusive access to the world's scientific oldest zoo.
Discover more about the UK's biggest zoo with our fun blog posts!
Join the ZSL Discovery and Learning team as they venture out of the zoo and in to the wild.
Catch up on our latest Conservation Blogs
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's elephant keepers give an insight into the daily goings on in the elephant barn.
Read about conservation of tigers in Asia.
One man is boldly going where no other ZSL videographer has gone before - the land of Mountain Chicken Frogs.
From the field, to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
The Wildlife Wood Project has been working in Cameroon since 2007 to encourage better wildlife management in logging concessions.
Updates from penguin conservation expeditions to Antarctica
Amur leopard conservation blog
Meet ZSL Whipsnade Zoo's latest (and leggiest) arrival, a baby giraffe!
Follow the ZSL Biodiversity and Palm Oil team, based in Bogor, Indonesia.
The Chagos marine reserve, designated in 2010 and currently the world’s largest no take marine reserve, is a sought-after spot for marine research.
Follow ZSL conservationists studying desert baboons in Namibia.