For the first time in ten years, a Western Lowland Gorilla has been born at Zoo Basel in Switzerland. On May 19, 26-year-old mom Joas and 16-year-old father M’Tonge welcomed their newborn. The baby, whose sex has yet to be determined, has been cause for excitement in the entire troop of Western Lowland Gorillas at Zoo Basel: Faddama, Quarta, Zungu, and Goma. Like a family, they all embraced the youngster.
As is evident from the video below, mom Joas keeps her baby close and handles it lovingly and gently. Infant gorillas are wholly dependent on their mothers, suckling at least once an hour and sleeping with them in the same nest. Fathers don't take an active role in caring for the young, but they help socialize them to other gorillas and protect them from aggression.
Read more about these fascinating animals and see additional pictures at Zooborns.
Images: Zoo Basel