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Dublin Zoo’s Baby Gorilla is named Kituba
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Dublin Zoo is delighted to announce ‘Kituba’ as the name chosen for the baby western lowland gorilla who was born earlier this year. ‘Kituba’ is one of the main languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where the gorillas are found.
Visitors to Dublin Zoo and Facebook friends were invited to suggest names for the newest arrival, based on his West African origin. Dublin Zoo received an overwhelming response from the public with thousands of names suggested. The selected name was proposed by Caoileann Carton from Knocklyon, Dublin.
Ciaran McMahon, team leader for the gorillas said: “The baby gorilla is thriving and healthy. He has jumped onto his mother’s back where she will carry him for a few months. She will then let him down to explore a little but won’t let him stray too far. Harry, the silverback, stays close to Mum and baby to protect and watch over them.”
The birth of Kituba is a significant success for Dublin Zoo which takes part in the European breeding programme. 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 Ebola virus being the two main threats facing their survival.
Kituba and the rest of his family mum Lena, dad Harry, brothers Alfie and Evindi and sister Mayani can be seen at Dublin Zoo today.