The wildlife family at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens just got bigger. The staff was excited to announce the birth of a western-lowland gorilla – a critically endangered species. The little baby, a boy, is the fifth gorilla born at the zoo and the first one since 2018.
The baby gorilla, which is the ninth member of the gorilla group at the Jacksonville Zoo, was born on April 9th to mother Madini, 24, and father Lash, 44. While for Madini is only the second birth, Lash is happy to become a dad for the third time. The female’s first baby, which was a daughter named Patty is still at the zoo.
Since the western-lowland gorilla is an endangered species, whenever a new baby is born, it spreads enthusiasm and joy among the staff, wildlife enthusiasts and scientists as well.
“We have so many reasons to celebrate this new infant,” Tracy Fenn, assistant curator of mammals at the zoo, told in a press statement. “He will further enrich the social environment and experience of his amazing group and strengthen the sustainability of our conservation plan.”
Western lowland gorillas is a gorilla subspecies native to central Africa. Unfortunately, over the last two decades the population declined with over 60%, mostly as a result of habitat loss and poaching.