17:13 Monday 28 January 2013

Gorilla's birth boosts efforts to save species

Written byBY ADRIAN JENKINS

A BABY gorilla has been born at a zoo near Burton – boosting attempts to stop its ‘critically endangered’ species dying out.

The unnamed infant, a western lowland gorilla, was delivered naturally at Twycross Zoo by Ozala, who is keeping her close.

“Ozala is a confident, attentive mother and is taking great care of her baby,” said living collections curator Charlotte Macdonald.

“The baby’s father, our silverback Oumbie, is gentle but protective and is showing a lot of interest in the infant,

“On the day of the baby’s birth he was very inquisitive, sitting beside Ozala and putting his face right up to the baby to smell it.

“In time, he will touch and play with the baby but for now he lets Ozala take things at her own pace.”

Apart from her parents, the youngster has joined her grandmother, Biddi, and half-sister, Asante.

The baby will be carried by its mother for two years and weaned for up to four.

Zoological director Sharon Redrobe said because there were fewer than 100,000 of the species left in the wild, the baby’s birth was a ‘vital’ contribution to its conservation.

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