Open or closed, you know the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are always on hand to bless the adoring public with cute new zoo babies.
On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9:09 p.m, zookeepers welcomed a female western lowland gorilla baby named Jamani. Jamani is the offspring of two of the zoo’s adult gorilla population: mother Cassie, and first-time father, Ktembe.
“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,” Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf said in a statement. “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.”
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The name Jamani, which means “friend” in Swahili, was selected by longtime Columbus Zoo supporter and docent Mary Anne Huber. Huber won the honor of naming the baby gorilla in an auction at the Rwandan Fête, a Columbus Zoo autumn fundraiser that supports gorilla conservation.
The zoo’s animal care experts continue to monitor the gorillas, and report that experienced mom, Cassie, is providing excellent care to her little one. Cassie and Jamani will likely remain behind the scenes with Ktembe and the other members of their troop for several months to ensure minimal disruptions so they can continue to bond.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been closed to the public since March 16 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If you believe in the zoo’s mission of conservation, education and care, please consider making a donation to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Animal Care Fund.