Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
and CrossCountry Mortgage
need help choosing a name for the first gorilla born at the zoo
in its 139-year history.
The naming opportunity not only will help the male gorilla, born October 26, settle into his home at the zoo, but helping choose the name also supports conservation of the critically endangered
western lowland gorilla species in the wild.
Participants can cast votes online
by making a financial contribution
for any of three names, at or by voting in person at the gorilla habitat at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The three name finalists include:
• Bakari, “One who will succeed”
• Jabari, “Fearless, brave one”
• Kayembe, “Extraordinary”
“Gorillas are an incredible species and the birth of the first gorilla here in Cleveland has been another reminder of why we need to protect them from extinction,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo executive director Dr. Chris Kuhar in a statement. “Every vote to help name our gorilla will have a direct impact, protecting this iconic and critically endangered species in the wild.”
The gorilla’s birth in late October was estimated to be a month premature and his mother, Nneka, did not immediately show appropriate maternal care that is required for newborn gorillas.
However, the troop’s eldest female, Fredrika or “Freddy,” quickly picked him up and has been serving as his surrogate mother ever since. In November he developed pneumonia, requiring zoo experts to step in and provide hands-on 24/7 care but this month he was successfully reunited with Freddy and the troop following his recovery.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered
by The World Conservation Union
(IUCN). Each donation to help name the baby will help conserve gorillas in the wild through Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s longtime partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
Guests visiting Cleveland Metroparks Zoo can visit the baby and gorilla troop at the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.