Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Lisa Ridley
Frala and newborn baby

A tiny Western Lowland Gorilla has been born at Taronga Zoo. The baby, born to Frala and Silverback Kibali, is the second born at Taronga in the last seven months.

 The new baby and Frala are healthy and are bonding well. Frala, 33, is a very experienced and successful mother having previously given birth to six gorillas, including two sons Fuzu and Fataki, to Taronga’s previous silverback, Kibabu.

Keepers are yet to determine the sex of the baby as Frala is keeping the baby very close to her.

The new infant joins Mjukuu, the little male born to mother Mbeli, was the first infant to be born to Taronga’s new gorilla group.

 With two infants born within seven months, the next chapter in Taronga’s gorilla dynasty has certainly begun.

This birth is vital for Taronga’s highly successful Western Lowland Gorilla breeding program. The Zoo supports gorillas in the wild through the “They’re Calling You” program which recycles mobiles phones to reduce demand for illegally mined minerals and to raises funds for wildlife patrols and by choosing FSC-certified wood products which are sustainably sourced.

 Primate Supervisor, Lou Grossfeldt: said: “All’s well in hand with Frala. She has years of experience being a mother. She’s very comfortable and relaxed after another text book birth. 

“She’s raised a number of infants before who are now living all around the world. This new infant is great for young Mjukuu as a future playmate. Socialisation is such an important thing for gorillas,” said Lou.

 With just 100,000 Western Lowland Gorillas remaining in the wild, any additions to the family are valuable to world breeding programs for gorillas, helping insure against rapidly declining numbers in Africa.

 They are under serious threat from hunting, poaching for the bushmeat and pet trades, forest clearance and illegal mining as well as the spread of infectious diseases including Ebola.