PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Western lowland gorilla born in early June at the Philadelphia Zoo now has a name. The little guy’s mother actually picked the name on Wednesday.
It was standing room only as visitors packed the Primate Reserve.
Three boxes, each with a name on it, filled with all sorts of gorilla goodies, including peanut butter, were set up in the troop of five’s outdoor enclosure. The name on the first box an ape eats from will be the name of the newborn. Mom Kira, carrying the newborn, was the first to dig in. She selected Ajabu (ah-JAH-boo), which means ‘miracle’ in Swahili.
Fitting says gorilla expert Kristen Farley-Rambo since the delivery a few weeks ago was a life-threatening situation.
“Without the use of modern medicine and human intervention then we probably would have lost both Kira and her baby,” she said. “So it really is a miracle he is here with us today.”
Human doctors helped to deliver the baby gorilla using forceps.
“We had an OB-GYN, we had OB-GYN surgeons, we had an anesthesiologist, we had a hole team on standby, and they were ready at the a drop of a hat,” said Farley-Rambo. “We gave them and a call and said ‘hey, she is in trouble, we need you,’ and they were here with in minutes and I don’t think any of them ever delivered a baby gorilla.”
One-month-old Ajabu is expected to cling on to mom Kira over the next few months or so before becoming independent like half-sister Amani, who, by the way, will turn one year old at the end of August.
The names not chosen were Wasingya (Wa-SEEN-jah), which means Thank you very much and Lwanzo (La-WAN-zoh), which means Love.