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Contest To Decide Baby Gorilla’s Name

Fri., March 29, 1996

The Woodland Park Zoo is kicking off a contest to name a baby gorilla whose mother didn’t take to her and whose father has died.

There is a degree of difficulty: the zoo says suggested names should be in the African languages of Swahili, Hausa or Igbo to honor the zoo’s policy of naming its animals in languages that reflect their area of origin.

The 6-week-old female, born Feb. 12, is the sixth successful western lowland gorilla birth at Woodland Park.

She was born to 10-year-old Jumoke and 37-year-old Congo, who died in late February from heart disease.

Because the delivery was complicated and Jumoke was under anesthesia, she has never accepted the baby as her own. The death of Congo also disrupted the stability of the troop.

The zoo staff hopes the baby gorilla will be adopted by an older experienced mother in another troop.

Contestants can pick up an entry form at the zoo. The contest runs through April 30.

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