New gorilla baby joy for Port Lympne
A BABY gorilla has been born at Port Lympne.
Louna has no fewer than 25 siblings, including half-sisters and brothers. Mum Foufou gave birth to little Louna, named after the river running through the Lesio-Louna Reserve in the Congo, managed by the Aspinall Foundation.
Now 16, Foufou was born at sister park Howletts before being transferred to Port Lympne. Louna’s direct siblings are Yene, eight, and M’Passa, five. The proud father, who has sired 25 babies to date, is 26-year-old Djala, who was rescued from the Congo.
Phil Ridges, head of the gorilla section at Port Lympne, said: “We are delighted that yet again Foufou has shown signs of being an excellent mother and visitors can already see the baby out and about in its family enclosure with mum.”
There are no more than 100,000 Western lowland gorillas left in the world and extinction looms by 2020 if the number continues to decline at its present rate.
The Aspinall Foundation has said this is due to deforestation, the ebola virus and the bush meat trade.
Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks are home to 72 Western lowland gorillas between them, the largest collection in human care with three hand-reared babies having been successfully transferred to Gabon this summer.