Kafi and Bangui became parents for the first time at the Dublin Zoo on April 1 and the mother keeps smiling at her baby.
The people over at the Dublin Zoo are very happy right now since there has been a new addition to their brood. The happiest of them all is a western lowland gorilla, an endangered species, Kafi, who became a mom for the first time on April 1. A healthy baby was born to her weighing around 5.5 pounds. The Irish zoo says that both Kafi and her baby are doing well and are "so cute".
The father's name is Bangui. The little ape was born after a gestation period of around 8-and-a-half months. "Kafi gave birth to a healthy infant weighing approximately 2-2.5kg. To date, keepers at Dublin Zoo have been unable to determine the gender of the infant as Kafi has been keeping the baby close to her chest since the birth. The newborn is the first offspring of Bangui since his arrival at Dublin Zoo last year," the zoo said in a post on Instagram.
The first-time father has been doing a great job guarding his mate as well. Both parents are proud of their new offspring.
“Kafi is doing a fantastic job so far as a first-time mother, keeping the young baby physically close in these crucial early stages. Bangui is proving to be an attentive father and at night has been sleeping close to Kafi and the baby. Kafi seems comfortable and at ease and we expect her to mix with the rest of the gorilla troop very soon,” Helen Clarke-Bennett, team leader of the African Plains at Dublin Zoo, said in a statement, according to BHG.
The new mother has gained parenting skills from the other female gorillas in her community. Helen said the new mom has “witnessed other female gorillas give birth and raise their young which has been a huge help in teaching Kafi how to look after her own baby.”
The new baby is a "great step forward” for the critically endangered western lowland gorilla species. Most wildlife species are already endangered with humans causing a reduction in numbers of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles by 60% since 1970, according to WWF. The Irish zoo estimates that the number of western lowland gorillas will reduce by 80% in 2046, as compared to 1980 because of deforestation, hunting, and the Ebola virus.
The western lowland gorilla can live up to 35 years and their group is called a troop. When they stand, they can be anything between 4 to 6 feet, according to the National Geographic.
Despite being endangered, they are more abundant than their relatives, the mountain gorillas. They can be found in heavy rain forests of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their social structure is also fascinating with one dominant older adult male at the head of the troop of up to 30 individuals. The leader is often called silverback since it would have a patch of silver hair. The group of 30 would include several young males and some females as well as their children.