Posted In Animals | 8th April 2019

Baby Gorilla Born at Dublin Zoo

On 1st April, after a gestation period of around 8-and-a-half months, Kafi gave birth to the healthy infant weighing approximately 2-2.5kg. To date, keepers at Dublin Zoo have been unable to determine the gender of the infant as Kafi has been keeping the baby close to her chest since the birth. The newborn is the first offspring of Bangui since his arrival at Dublin Zoo last year.

Helen Clarke-Bennett, Team Leader of the African Plains at Dublin Zoo commented that,

Kafi is doing a fantastic job so far as a first-time mother, keeping the young baby physically close in these crucial early stages. Bangui is proving to be an attentive father and at night has been sleeping close to Kafi and the baby. Kafi seems comfortable and at ease and we expect her to mix with the rest of the gorilla troop very soon.

Since she arrived with us back in 2012, Kafi has witnessed other female gorillas give birth and raise their young which has been a huge help in teaching Kafi how to look after her own baby. This new birth is a great step forward for this critically endangered species.”

Bangui arrived at Dublin Zoo in 2018 following the death of long-time alpha male ‘silverback’ Harry. The term ‘silverback’ is because of the silvery white hair on an alpha males back and hips.  Bangui was quickly accepted as the new alpha-male of the troop and has begun his transformation into a silverback gorilla.

Critically Endangered 

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 deforestation, commercial hunting and a highly contagious virus called Ebola being the three main threats facing their survival.