Blog: Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Brookfield Zoo Announces Name of Month-old Gorilla

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is happy to announce the western lowland gorilla born on June 1 is a female and has been named Ali. The 1-month-old infant and her mother, Koola, can be seen in the zoo’s Tropic Word: Africa habitat along with Koola’s two other offspring Kamba, 13, and Nora, 4; Zachary (Kamba’s son), 2; Binti Jua (Koola’s mother), 30; and JoJo (the infant’s father), 38.

In Ali’s first few months, she will have a strong grip and will cling to Koola’s abdomen. At around 3 months old, zoogoers will be able to watch her ride on Koola’s back, and about a month later Ali will begin exploring the habitat on her own but will still stay within arm’s reach of Koola. Ali will start to sample small pieces of food at about 4 months old, but nursing will continue for the next several years.

“Ali is a wonderful addition to the four-generation family of western lowland gorillas currently in the group at Brookfield Zoo,” Amy Roberts, Senior Curator of Mammals, said. “She has already been welcomed into the existing gorilla social group, which is typically comprised of one adult male (known as a silverback), several adult females, and juveniles.”

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered primarily due to commercial hunting for the bushmeat trade, diseases such as the Ebola virus, as well as the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction from logging. It is estimated that there are approximately 200,000 western lowland gorillas in their native West Africa habitat (the forests of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Congo, and Angola), and almost 350 western lowland gorillas living in accredited North American zoos.

Posted: 7/2/2018 1:04:50 PM by Sabrina Cynova

Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

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