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Critically Endangered Gorilla Born at Jacksonville Zoo

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Lash and Madini are two critically endangered lowland gorillas who recently became parents.

Madini gave birth to a baby boy at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida. This baby gorilla is apparently the fifth gorilla to be born at the zoo. It is the first newborn gorilla baby to be born since 2018.

Lash is a 44-year-old lowland gorilla, and this is his third baby. Madini is 24-years-old, and this is her second offspring. She is also the mother to ‘Patty,’ the female gorilla. 

The baby boy is healthly and nursing well. Madini is taking good care of the baby. The mother and son are both doing so well that the zoo members have decided to let them out on exhibit quickly. Madini and Lash were matched for breeding by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

Photo credit: John Reed

Compared to the other species, they are widespread and are found mainly in the Congo Basin in Central Africa. They are smaller than the other gorilla species. These gorillas have brownish-grey coats with auburn crests. 

These zoo professionals handle the gorilla population of 51 zoos in the USA. Since Lash is old now, this baby might be the last of his offspring.
 
The Red List which is published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature listed the Western Lowland Gorillas are named as a critically endangered species. Their numbers are decreasing rapidly due to poaching, diseases, habitat loss, and deforestation.

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I’m sure you’ve all heard of world-famous comedian Robin Williams, he even made a mourning gorilla laugh after six months moaning. It is such a wonderful sight to see the bond between Koko the gorilla and Williams and the connection he made with Koko through sign language

Adult male gorillas have an eye-catching silver-colored back, which is why they are also known as silverbacks. The males’ gorillas are much larger than the female. This newborn baby gorilla is the ninth member belonging to the largest gorilla group in the history of the Jacksonville Zoo. “We have many reasons to celebrate this new infant. He will further enrich the social environment and experience of his amazing group and strengthen the sustainability of the Gorilla SSP,” says Tracy Fenn, the zoo’s assistant curator of mammals.

Adults gorillas have long, muscular arms that are 15–20 percent longer than their stocky legs. They lack hair on their face, feet, and hands. The older male’s chest is bare. Gorillas generally dislike water.

Males are generally twice as heavy as females and may achieve a height of about 1.7 meters and weight in the wild of 135–220 kg. A wild adult female typically is about 1.5 meters tall and weighs about 70–90 kg. Captive both sexes may grow quite fat and become heavier.

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Gorilla’s diet is vegetarian; the eastern gorillas’ diet includes leaves, stalks, and shoots, yet western gorillas eat much more fruit.

For more info: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

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