Belfast Zoo celebrates arrival of baby gorilla Olivia
Belfast Zoo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered Western lowland gorilla!
The latest arrival was born to mother, Namoki, and father, Gugas, on 28 August 2016.
Newborn gorillas cling to their mother’s stomach for the first few months. For this reason, keepers have only recently been able to discover that the infant is a girl and she has now been named Olivia.
Gorillas are family-oriented animals that live in groups called troops. A troop is made up of one silverback male, several females and infants. As well as Namoki and Gugas, the new arrival has joined Delilah, Kwanza, Kamili and infants, Baako and Kibibi.
Father, Gugas, is Belfast Zoo’s silverback gorilla. He was born in the wild but had an unfortunate start to life as his parents were killed, probably for bushmeat.
As a young, orphaned gorilla, he was acquired by a Portuguese circus and became very ill. He was abandoned at the gates of Lisbon Zoo and was then moved to Stuttgart Zoo to live in a nursery group for orphaned gorillas.
He arrived at Belfast Zoo in 1998 and is genetically very important to the European breeding programme as he is under-represented in the zoo population.