09/09/2015

A new gorilla is born at the Zoo, the fourth in the last six months

It's exceptional, because they have been born to 4 different mothers in such a short space of time

Barcelona Zoo has welcomed a new baby gorilla, born on 2 September, who can now be seen at the gorilla facility and who is in perfect health according to initial examinations carried out by the keepers. Her mother is Batanga, Snowflake's grand-daughter, who is taken up with looking after her baby, accompanied by Ngumbi, her other daughter, and Ebobo, the father, who is extremely protective and keeps watch for anything that might harm the baby.

This was the fourth gorilla to be born at Barcelona Zoo in the last six months, an exceptional event bearing in mind that they were born to four different females within a very short space of time and at the same Zoo. The first to be born was Akiba, on 19 March, with Mbini and Virunga born on 1 and 3 May respectively. These births demonstrates the vitality of the group of gorillas at the Zoo and highlights the excellent work carried out by the professionals who work there.

The video shows how, just a few minutes after giving birth, Batanga cleans away the blood and placenta from her baby, who is only minutes old, while the umbilical cord is till clearly visible.

The very same week of the birth, the zoo was holding a "History of our Cubs" summer camp and the children at the camp were able to see the new baby during the very first hours of her life. It was the children on the summer camp who gave the baby her name. Of the four names proposed by the Zoo, they decided to call her Yoko.

In critical danger of extinction

The Western plains gorilla is on the red list according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as the species is in critical danger of extinction. According to GRASP (Great Apes Survival Partnership), there are now fewer than 225,000 gorillas remaining throughout the world.

Poaching and illegal trade are two of the greatest threats to this species, originally from West Africa, which has also seen its habitat reduced due to tree-felling and the introduction of crops. Gorilla mortality has recently risen due to the Ebola virus.

The three gorilla babies were born as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) run by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, of which Barcelona Zoo is a member. The EEP maintains a genetically and demographically sustainable ex situ population of 450 individuals, 200 males and 250 females, to improve the variability of the species and maintain acceptable reproduction rates that will ensure the survival of the species.

Hard Rock Café Barcelona is an honorary adopter of the western plains gorilla

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