There’s A New Baby Gorilla At The Columbus Zoo And She’s Freaking Adorable

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a tiny, adorable bundle of joy last week.

On Wednesday, April 15, lowland gorillas Cassie and first-time dad Ktembe had their adorable baby, Jamani. The Zoo’s team of animal care experts are monitoring the new gorilla family and they say that Cassie is providing excellent care to her new little babe.

The name Jamani means “friend” in Swahili and was selected by Mary Anne Huber, a longtime Columbus Zoo supporter, who has also served as a docent at the facility since 1988.

Jamani is the 33rd gorilla to be born at the Columbus Zoo, where history was made in 1956 with Colo, the first gorilla to be born in human care. Colo made history again as she lived to be 60 years old—the oldest gorilla in human care at that time. Colo passed away in 2017, but her legacy lives on, through her “great-granddaughter” Jamani and many other offspring.

Jamani and her mom, Cassie. Photo courtesy of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium .

“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. Each birth is extremely special and is important to celebrate as it offers hope for their future. This week, as we also marked the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we have the perfect opportunity to reflect on how each and every one of us can make a positive difference. At the Columbus Zoo, we are inspired every day by the animals in our care, as well as by our community and supporters, who share with us a passion for protecting wildlife and wild places,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

Jamani was born into a troop that consists of her mom Cassie, her half-sister Nadami, her dad, Ktembe, and another gorilla named Sue.

Jamani with her parents, Cassie and Ktembe. Photo courtesy of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with how the troop is responding to the birth of Jamani. They’re all curious, yet very respectful about giving Cassie and Jamani their space. 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,” said Audra Meinelt, curator of the Columbus Zoo’s Congo Expedition region.

The zoo may be closed right now, but I know exactly where I’m headed once they open up. I can’t wait to see this adorable little gal in person. Welcome to Columbus, Jamani!

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