Our gorilla group has started off 2012 with two of our females celebrating birthdays. Kimya and Kipenzi are sisters born to mother Kriba and their father, our magnificent silverback, Kibabu.
Kimya turned seven on 7th January and is becoming a cheeky juvenile, even giving the young male gorillas in the group a run for their money wrestling and playing chase in the exhibit. Kimya is at a stage in her life where she is very interested in her baby sister and what mum is doing to look after her. She is heading into her adult life so this is a great way for her to learn lessons watching her mother care for an infant.
Kipenzi on the other hand has just turned one on the 15th January. Kipenzi is starting to find her confidence but still staying very close to mum, only venturing small distances to climb and pick up branches that mum has dropped. She is still suckling from Kriba and will do so for the next 3 or 4 years, but keepers have seen her putting food like leaves, branches, vegetables and even popcorn on special occasions into her mouth. Her spindly little legs and arms are working overtime getting stronger every day. For this little gorilla, whose name in Swahili means "precious one", her adventure is just starting.
Primate Keeper, Lisa