PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The results are in. After several weeks, the new baby girl gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo finally has a name.
Zoo officials announced today the western lowland gorilla baby, born on August 26 is now officially named Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili.
People were invited to vote from a list of four names by making a donation of at least $1 to the the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All of the name contenders including, Isangi, Mapendo and Muyisa were inspired by gorillas currently living at GRACE. Amani won by a landslide.
Amani was named after an eight-year-old GRACE gorilla who had a traumatic young life, found dehydrated and with a bullet in her leg as a result of a poachers that killed her family back in 2009. She was named for the U.N. peacekeepers who helped rescue her.
“We are excited that our Amani now has a namesake at Philadelphia Zoo to be an ambassador for gorillas in the wild,” said Dr. Sonya Kahlenberg, GRACE Executive Director. “Grauer’s gorillas are on the brink of extinction, so raising awareness is critical. Amani is an appropriate name because gorillas are suffering from insecurity in DRC, thus peace is what they need more than anything… We look forward to watching little Amani as she grows!”
Voters donated $6,600 and the zoo matched that number for a grand donation total of $13,200.
The zoo says Amani is doing well with constant interaction and cradling from her mom, Honi as well as close protection from dad, Motuba. The family of three live in PECO Primate Reserve, along with a 17-year-old female gorilla, Kira.