Charlotte Pennie, Senior Primate Keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Moanda is a very special little man indeed and is a crucial part of the European Breeding Programme for Western Lowland Gorillas."
Blackpool, Lancashire (PRWEB UK) 8 November 2013
The only male baby gorilla ever to be born at Blackpool Zoo turned one year old today – and he celebrated with a mashed potato and rice birthday cake!
The birth of little Moanda, who is the son of resident silverback Bukavu and Njema, was a momentous occasion for the zoo, which is also home to his half-sister Meisie, her mother Miliki and another female Kena.
Since he arrived Moanda has made fantastic progress, moving around independently and cutting his first teeth at six months old.
He can now climb to all the different levels of the Ape House and his favourite foods include marmite and rice, boiled potato, yogurt and, of course, mashed potato!
Keepers made an extra special birthday cake to mark the occasion, which Moanda’s mum wasted no time helping him to eat!
Charlotte Pennie, Senior Primate Keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Moanda is a very special little man indeed and is a crucial part of the European Breeding Programme for Western Lowland Gorillas.
“He is the first male, and only the second baby gorilla, ever to be born at Blackpool Zoo, which is testament to the care given by keepers and the excellent environment here.
“Western Lowland Gorilla numbers have declined over 60 per cent in the past 20 years, which means they are critically endangered in the wild. Breeding programmes are vital to ensure the future survival of such as majestical species.
“Moanda and his half- sister Meisie are firm favourites with our visitors and it has been an absolute pleasure to see the two little ones running round.”
Blackpool Zoo is home to six Western Lowland Gorillas. Bukavu the silverback is 16 and Miliki, aged 18 is the mother of Meisie, who will turn four in May next year. Njema is Miliki’s half-sister and is a year older at 20. Kena, the remaining female is 32 years old and the daughter of Snowflake, the world’s first and only ever albino Western Lowland Gorilla.
Picture shows: Moanda with mum Njema and his birthday cake!
More information about Blackpool Zoo:
Blackpool Zoo celebrated its busiest year to date in 2012, which was also its 40th anniversary.
Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.
The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.
For further information please contact:
Paula Holden or Rachael Ireland at ICG PR on 01772 679383 or paula(at)icgonline(dot)co(dot)uk or Rachael(at)icgonline(dot)co(dot)uk