Baby gorilla at London Zoo

ITN News
2 389 views
  • About
  • Export
  • Add to

London Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a baby gorilla - the first to be born there in 20 years.

The western lowland gorilla was born to mother Mjukuu, 12, on Tuesday.

His father, Yeboah, died at the zoo in March after arriving in November 2009. He had been brought in as a mate to three female gorillas, Mjukuu, Zaire and Effie.

Yeboah was the second male gorilla to die at the zoo after Bobby, a 25-year-old silverback, died in December 2008.

Staff at the zoo have now begun the "sensitive" process of introducing the un-named baby gorilla to his "stepfather", the 11-year-old head of the family Kesho.

In a statement, the zoo said: "Introducing the baby to Kesho is not without its risks, however staff are making every effort to assist a smooth introduction and hopefully ensure the gorillas form a cohesive family group."

Visitors to the Gorilla Kingdom attraction were also being told they may have to wait to see the young gorilla because of the delicate introduction process.

The baby was born after a labour described as "straightforward" and was closely monitored by zoo staff. He is expected to grow up to become a 25-stone silverback gorilla.

Zoological director David Field said: "Mother and baby are both doing brilliantly, although it's still early days. 'Aunties' Zaire and Effie were at the birth and have remained with Mjukuu throughout."