PostedJune 29, 2021, 4:51 PM
His parents were born in European zoos, he was born in a forest in Gabon. His birth, on the night of June 13 to 14, constitutes “extraordinary news”.
A baby gorilla was born in a natural environment in Gabon, to two parents from French and British zoos, announced Tuesday the Zooparc de Beauval, in Saint-Aignan (France). “This is extraordinary news, a very important world first for the conservation of this critically endangered species,” said Delphine Delord, associate director of the zoo.
Her mother, Mayombé, was born at the ZoopArc de Beauval and his father, Djongo, was born at Port Lympne Zoo in Kent (United Kingdom). According to the carers of the Aspinall Foundation, the NGO that accompanies the gorillas reintroduced into the Batéké Plateaux National Park, in Gabon, the baby gorilla was born on the night of June 13 to 14. He appears to be in good health.
Another female reintroduced
“Nature is brutal. Everything can happen. This baby is fragile, but for the moment, Mayombé (13 years old) holds her newborn baby in a perfect position and feeds him well, ”said Delphine Delord. “Djongo (15 years old) approaches them very slowly. We even saw it on the images of the cameras, which are triggered when the animals pass, touch the baby. The mother lets him do it. Male gorillas have a role to play in the development of their offspring. We are witnessing the creation of a group start that will be reinforced by the reintroduction of another female born in England. ”
This birth suggests a “possible better future for this species”, commented Rodolphe Delord, president of the Zoo.parc and the Beauval Nature association, which accompanied the transfer from Mayombé to Gabon, in 2019.
“This is an essential moment for the protection of wildlife and an extremely moving day for the entire team,” said Damian Aspinall, President of the Aspinall Foundation. “To see today the descendants of Djongo born in freedom, far from human persecution, is a powerful image.”
Nearly 200,000 gorillas in the wild
Born in Port Lympne, Djongo was repatriated to Gabon in 2013, with his father Djala, a gorilla himself born in his natural environment and who had lost his family to poachers., before being rescued by thea Aspinall Foundation, in 1986.
According to Beauval Nature, “only 150,000 to 250,000 western lowland gorillas remain in the wild”. About “800 individuals” are believed to be living in zoos.