The Philadelphia Zoo Wants You to Help Name its Newest Baby Gorilla
An adorable, healthy baby gorilla was born this week at the Philadelphia Zoo, and zookeepers want to share their joy with the world. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that, since the 21-year-old mother Honi and her adorable newborn are peacefully resting in the zoo’s Peco Primate Reserve, zookeepers plan to let the public weigh in on the baby gorilla’s name.
The newborn is the first gorilla born at the zoo in two decades, so zookeepers are understandably excited. Before the baby was born, they made sure to baby-proof the gorilla enclosure, reinforcing and modifying nets and climbing structures. Now, they’re busily brainstorming a list of possible names, which they’ll soon present for a vote.
However, in the wake of several notorious crowdsourced name contests (remember Boaty McBoatface?), zookeepers won’t let the public suggest names. “This is a significant birth, so we want the public to be involved," Dana Lombardo, the zoo’s director of communications, told The Verge, "but we're not off our rockers."
Today Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a new addition to the family: a western lowland gorilla baby born to Honi, the Zoo’s 21-year-old female and 31-year old silverback male Motuba. This is the second birth for Honi and the first birth for Honi and Motuba together. Mother and baby appear healthy but will be monitored by Zoo staff in the coming weeks and months. Like newborn humans, gorilla babies are essentially helpless, relying completely on their mother for care. Check back for updates on when the baby will be on exhibit with the rest of the troop in PECO Primate Reserve.
[h/t Philadelphia Enquirer]