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It's a boy! Help us pick a name for our baby gorilla

Date: 27 January 2022

It's a boy! Help us pick a name for our baby gorilla

We are delighted to announce that our latest baby western lowland gorilla is a boy! Born to father Gugas and mother Kamili on 8 October, the four-month-old has been delighting both visitors and staff.

It took a while to determine the sex of the baby as mother Kamili held him tightly for the first few months, which she will continue to do so until he is ready to start crawling and exploring.

A shortlist of eight names drawn up by the zookeeping team who care for the apes. The names will be shared for a vote on our Facebook page on Friday 28 January.

The names voters can choose between are:

  • Raza; of African origin meaning 'hope'
  • Mfalme; Swahili name meaning 'king'
  • Babatunde; means 'father has returned' in the Yoruba language
  • Topaz; a beautiful gemstone, chosen simply because the keeper likes it!
  • Bahati; Swahili name meaning 'noble'
  • Kofi; Ghanaian in origin meaning 'born on a Friday'
  • Johari; Swahili name meaning 'jewel'
  • Kenneth (Kenny); after Belfast born actor and filmmaker, Kenneth Branagh

Belfast Zoo Curator, Julie Mansell, commented 'The newest additional to our gorilla family is growing really well. He's very healthy and strong and is getting the best care from Kamili, who is a fantastic, experienced mother.

Now that he is four months old, he is increasingly alert and is showing more interest in food and playing with the rest of the family troop. Over the next couple of months, he will be learning to eat, walk and climb, which is a joy to watch. '

Due to hunting for their meat, western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild with the total population estimated to be less than 100,000. This great ape species is a quiet, peaceful animal and spend most of their days eating and sleeping.

Belfast Zoo is part of an internationally important breeding and conservation programme for these beautiful but critically endangered gorillas.

Visitors have a chance to see the newest arrival in the zoo's gorilla house. We are open every day 10am and 4pm with last admission at 2.30pm.

Online booking is essential