Kafi, the mother is doing an amazing job of being a mom. Dad Bangui, too, is helping out with the parental duties.
It is a delightful and joyful moment when a new and precious life comes into this world. Tiny fingers and toes, big liquid eyes all give a sense of such wonder and happiness. It was the same feeling that filled the Dublin Zoo on April 1 when their western Lowland gorilla Kafi gave birth to a baby, reports People. The zoo said that the healthy baby ape weighed around 5.5 pounds at birth and both are doing well and are "so cute." They also said that Kafi is a first-time mother.
Needless to say, the 12-year-old mother is extremely attached to her child. So much so, that she carries her baby around everywhere and refuses to put it down. Due to this, zookeepers haven't yet been able to name the infant because they can't determine whether it's a boy or a girl. According to Daily Mail, Kafi is going around her enclosure with her baby tucked in her arm, close to her heart constantly. According to the zoo's Instagram post, it may be a number of weeks before Kafi lets her baby go for a check-up. Once the baby is eventually kept down, Dublin Zoo says it's hoping to hold a naming competition in the coming weeks.
Dublin Zoo's Helen Clarke-Bennett, who is the team leader of the African Plains, said, "Kafi is doing a fantastic job so far as a first-time mother, keeping the young baby physically close in these crucial early stages. Kafi seems comfortable and at ease and we expect her to mix with the rest of the gorilla troop very soon." Kafi isn't the only one doing a great job of being a parent. Dad Bangui has also been actively involved. According to People, he arrived at Dublin Zoo last year, and according to Clarke-Bennet in a statement, "is proving to be an attentive father and at night has been sleeping close to Kafi and the baby."
The team leader adds that Kafi's parenting skills were most likely a result of the other females in her troop. The new mom 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.”
The gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60 percent over the last 20 to 25 years in the world. Dublin Zoo says the number of western lowland gorillas is expected to drop by 80 percent from 1980 to 2046 due to deforestation, hunting and the effects of the highly contagious Ebola virus, so every gorilla birth is a recognized event. This baby gorilla is considered "great step forward" for the critically endangered western lowland gorilla species.
These species of gorilla are found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea as well as in large areas in Gabon, and the Republic of Congo. They reach 4 to 5 ½ feet when standing on two feet and can weigh up to 440 pounds.
Both mother and child were available from Tuesday for visitors to come and see.