Baby Gorilla Born at Dublin Zoo
Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of a baby western lowland gorilla. Proud mum, Lena, gave birth to a healthy, baby gorilla in the early hours of Saturday morning (16th July). The new-born weighs approximately 1.8kgs and so far keepers have been unable to determine the gender because Lena is keeping the baby close to her chest.
Baby Gorilla Born at Dublin Zoo
Lena, who was born in 1984, is an experienced mother and this is her seventh baby. The baby’s father was silverback Harry who passed away in May.
Helen Clarke-Bennett, leader of the animal care team responsible for the gorillas said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the birth of the baby gorilla. The youngster is doing very well and is very bright and alert. Within minutes the baby was feeding from mum Lena which is a very good sign.”
“Lena is a great mother and so far she hasn’t let go of her newborn. She will continue to cradle the baby in her arms non-stop for the next two to three months. When she does eventually let the toddler out of her arms to explore, the youngster won’t go far because Lena will not allow the baby go more than an arms length away.”
“It has been a sad time for the team after Harry’s death and this has really put a smile on everyone’s face. Big brother Kituba is taking a keen interest in the new arrival and the rest of the troop has reacted very well. The new arrival is a great success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European breeding programme for these critically endangered primates.”
Western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The numbers of these primates living in the wild is expected to fall by over 80% between 1980 and 2046 with commercial hunting and a highly contagious virus called Ebola being the two main threats facing their survival.
Dublin Zoo is a not for profit organisation, registered charity number CHY 2964. Since Dublin Zoo first opened its doors in 1830, its 28 hectares has been transformed with the support of the Irish public and now attracts over 1 million visitors a year. All funds received by Dublin Zoo including gate takings, donations and sponsorships are directly invested into the day to day management, running and up keep of Dublin Zoo’s animals, their habitats and conservation projects. Modern Zoos, like Dublin Zoo, adhere to strict codes of practice in animal welfare laid down by European and Global Associations. Animals at Dublin Zoo therefore live enriched lives in natural social groups in order to encourage breeding and raising young.
Dublin Zoo is managed by caring, qualified and accredited zoo professionals who devote their lives to the welfare of animals at Dublin Zoo. Dublin Zoo works in partnership with zoos worldwide to conserve bio-diversity on earth and financially supports a variety of conservation projects supporting gorillas, tigers, giraffes and penguins among others. Dublin Zoo also supports a range of Irish conservation projects.
Dublin Zoo is easily accessible by bus, LUAS, and train and is open every day with the exception of Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day (26th December). Admission prices and opening times can all be found on the website. Dublin Zoo is accessible by the less-abled and manual wheel chairs are available on request.