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’!
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