DUBLIN ZOO ANNOUNCED the arrival of its newest resident today – a healthy baby gorilla.
The new arrival has not yet been named, and Dublin Zoo has invited the public to make suggestions on their Facebook page.
The baby gorilla, a girl, was born on 16 September to first-time mother Mayani – just days after the troop moved into their new habitat.
The birth was announced as President Mary McAleese performed one of her last official engagements, by opening the new Gorilla Rainforest at the zoo.
The new gorilla enclosure at the zoo comprises of 12,000 square metres of undulating topography, which was inspired by the gorillas’ natural home – the lowland rainforest of western Africa. The model of the habitat was influenced strongly by behavioural studies of gorillas in the wild.
The gorillas’ new home comprises of high, rocky outcrops and trees allow the apes an overview of the surrounding landscape, while streams and dense vegetation allow the gorillas to forage and move to private resting spaces, says Dublin Zoo.
“Every detail of this wonderful rainforest has been thought through carefully to resemble as closely as possible the gorilla’s natural habitat,” said Leo Oosterweghel, Director of Dublin Zoo.
“This new home should encourage them to continue breeding and to encourage their natural behaviours giving visitors to Dublin Zoo the most amazing gorilla experience,” he added.
The enclosure is now home to seven healthy gorillas, including Mayani’s newborn and a boy named Kituba who was born earlier this year.
Zoo officials say they envisage the troop to grow in size to between 12 – 15 gorillas over the coming years.