Jamani was born on Wednesday, April 15 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

By Ally Mauch
April 23, 2020 03:36 PM
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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is welcoming a new gorilla to the family — baby Jamani.

Jamani, whose name means “friend” in Swahili, was born Wednesday, April 15 to mother Cassie and Ktembe — a first-time father. She marks the 33rd gorilla to be born at the Ohio zoo, according to a Thursday release.

The new animal, a western lowland gorilla, is part of Ktembe’s troop — one of three troops of gorillas at the zoo, each led by a different male. The zoo reports that Cassie is providing excellent care to Jamani and the pair will remain “behind the scenes” with their troop for several months so they can bond.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with how the troop is responding to the birth of Jamani,” Audra Meinelt, curator of the Columbus Zoo’s Congo Expedition region, said in the release.

“They’re all curious, yet very respectful about giving Cassie and Jamani their space,” she continued. “We’re also very proud of Ktembe who, as a first-time father, has even exceeded our expectations with his calm and gentle nature, which sets a positive example and leads the troop’s social dynamics overall.”

The zoo announced on Twitter that Jamani’s birth “is a significant achievement” given the fact that western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species, according to the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

“We are extremely proud of the Columbus Zoo’s successful contributions over the years to the knowledge and understanding of these incredible gorillas, as well as our continued commitment to gorilla conservation,” the zoo’s president and CEO, Tom Stalf, said in the release. “Each birth is extremely special and is important to celebrate as it offers hope for their future.”