Kisumu (pictured front), the father of the newborn. Credit: Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo.

Prague Zoo Celebrates Birth of Baby Lowland Gorilla

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A baby Western lowland gorilla was born in Prague Zoo on Tuesday evening, announced Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek yesterday. The sex of the newborn, whose mother is 10-year-old female Duni, is not yet known.

Duni is the daughter of the famous Moya, the first gorilla born in the Czech Republic. The father is the 26-year-old male Kisumu.

“We rejoice at the first gorilla cub born in the Dja Reserve pavilion,” Bobek said. “And our joy is all the greater because the story of the famous Moya thus continues. The birth of the cub is the culmination of a difficult decision to split the existing gorilla group and bring in a new male. However, it is only thanks to this decision that we got Moya’s daughter Duni to Prague and we can breed gorillas.” 

According to the breeders, the gorilla cub started suckling its mother’s milk last night.

The birth was quick and without problems, even though it was Duni’s first cub, said mammal breeder Pavel Brandl. “The other members of the group did not pay much attention to Duni during and after the birth, and the only one who observed the arrival of the new cub with curiosity was the 7-year-old male Ajabu, who was the last gorilla cub born at Prague Zoo.”

The Dja Reserve pavilion was closed to the public after the birth, and will reopen today. The use of cameras will be strictly prohibited in front of the gorillas, because their lenses may provoke the father Kisumu to behave aggressively, and the restlessness in the group could pose a risk to the newborn cub, the zoo warned.

The zoo is expecting another gorilla cub to be born to Duni’s grandmother, 30-year-old Kijivu, in a few months, also fathered by Kisumu.

Prague Zoo in the Troja neighbourhood, operated by Prague City Hall, is one of the most visited attractions in the Czech capital. The Dja Reserve is its largest exhibition space.

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