Baby gorilla joy at Blackpool Zoo
The world's dwindling population of western lowland gorillas was given an adorable boost this week with the birth of a baby '“ right here on the Fylde coast.
The tiny baby was born in the early hours of Tuesday at Blackpool Zoo, with the attraction announcing the youngster’s ‘natural and uncomplicated’ arrival this morning.
The attraction is now home to six of the critically endangered animals – whose numbers in the wild are thought to stand at just 100,000.
It is not yet known whether it’s a boy or girl, and it has yet to be given a name.
Sightings have been rare so far, and the baby is expected to cling to 22-year-old mum Miliki’s chest until it builds its strength and coordination.
It will also grow up alongside older sister Meisie, seven, half-brother Moanda, four, and 20-year-old silverback dad Bukavu.
Njema, 24, Miliki’s half-sister and Moanda’s mother, makes up the troop.
Peter Dillingham, animal manager, said: “This is Bukavu’s third child and Miliki’s second so they have already proven that they are great parents.
“We won’t find out the sex until the baby starts to move around more, as we are leaving everything to mum.
“It has been wonderful to watch Meisie and Moanda grow up together and they have both been over to have a look at the new baby a few times!
“I am sure they will show their new brother or sister the ways of the world when he or she starts to walk at around nine months.”