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Critically Endangered Gorilla Born at London Zoo Has Zookeepers 'Grinning from Ear to Ear'

A western lowland gorilla has been welcomed at London Zoo in the United Kingdom

<p>Richard Gardner/Shutterstock</p> A baby gorilla is welcomed at London Zoo

Richard Gardner/Shutterstock

A baby gorilla is welcomed at London Zoo

London Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a baby gorilla considered part of a critically endangered subspecies in a positive development.

The western lowland gorilla was born at London Zoo in the United Kingdom to parents Mjukuu and Kiburi, joining two other siblings, the zoo announced in a press release. The sex of the baby has not been confirmed at this time.

The new arrival marks a special moment as the subspecies has been left on the brink of extinction due to disease and poaching, according to the release.

Primates Section manager Kathryn Sanders said of the happy arrival, “We started our day as normal — we gave the gorillas their breakfast and began our cleaning routines. When we returned to their back dens, we could see Mjukuu was starting to stretch and squat — a sign that she was in labor."

<p>Richard Gardner/Shutterstock </p> A critically endangered gorilla born at London Zoo

Richard Gardner/Shutterstock

A critically endangered gorilla born at London Zoo

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“After a very quick labor – just 17 minutes – Mjukuu was spotted on camera tenderly holding her newborn and demonstrating her wonderful mothering instincts – cleaning her infant and checking it over.”

In just 25 years, the number of western lowland gorillas has declined by over 60% — however, this latest news provides hope for the species to grow again.

The baby gorilla’s arrival was made possible under the international conservation breeding program for western lowland gorillas at London Zoo, which provides the preservation of a healthy population of the gorilla subspecies, per the release.

<p>Richard Gardner/Shutterstock (</p> A critically endangered gorilla born at London Zoo

Richard Gardner/Shutterstock (

A critically endangered gorilla born at London Zoo

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In November 2022, father Kiburi was transported to London Zoo from Tenerife as part of the breeding program that led to the conception of the new arrival.

The infant will remain at the facility in close contact with the mother for six months following the birth.

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“To say we’re happy about this new arrival would be a huge understatement — we’ve all been walking around grinning from ear to ear,” Sanders said of the new addition.

“We’ll be giving mom and baby lots of time and space to get to know each other, and for the rest of the troop to get used to their new addition — they’re as excited as we are and can’t stop staring at the baby,” she added.

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Read the original article on People.