Double joy for London Zoo’s gorilla troop with second birth

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Double joy for London Zoo’s gorilla troop with second birth Image (c) LondonZoo

Conservation zoo welcomes second western lowland gorilla baby in a month.

London Zoo has welcomed a second critically endangered western lowland gorilla baby less than a month after the arrival of another.

The infant, an important addition to the endangered species breeding programme, was born at the conservation zoo to mum Effie at 7:44 pm on Thursday, 8 February, just three and half weeks after Mjukuu had her baby.  

Effie went into labour at around 7:04 pm on Thursday evening and delivered her baby in the gym area of Gorilla Kingdom. Unlike fellow mum Mjukuu, however, Effie’s birth was not as straightforward as the baby was born wrapped in its umbilical cord. While the newborn appeared bright and healthy, London Zoo’s gorilla keepers maintained a constant vigil over the weekend in case the cord posed any risk to the new arrival. Thankfully, and much to the relief of the zoo’s gorilla keepers, the cord didn’t create any issues, and the baby continued to feed and wriggle around, and it has now completely detached.

A half-sibling to the baby born in January, the new gorilla was also fathered by silverback Kiburi. Kiburi, 19, arrived at London Zoo from Tenerife in November 2022 as part of the conservation breeding programme, which ensures the preservation of a genetically diverse and healthy population of the gorilla subspecies.  

London Zoo’s Primates Section Manager Kathryn Sanders said: “We’re over the moon to have a second gorilla infant born here at London Zoo in the space of a month – these babies are an important addition to the conservation breeding programme for this endangered species, and just as crucially, great additions to our troop.

“Effie and her baby kept us on our toes for the first 72 hours, as we wanted to make sure that the attached umbilical cord didn’t pose any risk to the newborn. It was a huge relief to see the baby feeding and moving normally and to get a glimpse of its bright eyes peeking out from mum’s arms.

“The two youngsters will grow up side by side, much like their older siblings Alika and Gernot did – they’ll love having a permanent playmate!”

Zookeepers will not be able to confirm the sex of the infant yet and will wait for mum Effie to give them a clear opportunity to do so.

Kathryn added: “It’ll take us some time to confirm the sex of our new arrival, and for now, we will focus on letting mum and infant bond and the rest of the troop get to know their new family member.”

The birth of a second western lowland gorilla at London Zoo helps boost their numbers and shine a spotlight on the critically endangered subspecies. As a result of poaching and disease their wild numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 25 years.  

London Zoo, as part of the international conservation charity ZSL, is increasing its conservation efforts to protect western lowland gorilla habitats in the West Congo Basin. Putting local communities at the heart of its conservation work, ZSL will empower them to lead efforts, support the creation of alternative income streams for those who are otherwise reliant on the area’s natural resources, and support new land-use planning to reduce the impact of deforestation – to protect the home of gorillas and other threatened species in the area.

To find out more about the conservation zoo and book to visit London’s gorilla troop, visit   


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