50th gorilla born at Apenheul in zoo's 50th year
A baby gorilla was born at Apenheul, the zoo in Apeldoorn announced on Thursday. This is the 50th baby gorilla born at the zoo, and in the zoo's 50th year of existence, making this new arrival extra special.
The sex of the baby gorilla is not yet known, so a name will have to wait for a while. This baby is mother Gyasi's second young and father silverback Bao Bao's first. The silverback came to the Apenheul two years ago, with the goal of him producing offspring and broadening the gene pool of this endangered species in zoos.
"We are very happy that a healthy gorilla baby has been born. It was very stressful to see whether Bao Bao could become the right leader of the group and he also never mated before. Step by step, the animal caretakers helped him get used to it and that a healthy baby has now been born is the crowning glory of our work. This gorilla pup is the first to carry half of Bao Bao's genes and that is very important," animal caretaker Dik Eenink said.
Apenheul is part of the European breeding program for gorillas to help conserve this endangered species. According to the zoo, baby gorillas are very important for a gorilla group as they provide dynamism and give young females a chance to copy and learn motherhood.
Gyasi is an accomplished mother who also recently became a grandmother, according tot he zoo. Her first daughter Tayari, who moved to Taipei Zoo in 2019, also recently gave birth.