Smithsonian Journeys Dispatches

Smithsonian News: Baby Gorilla is a Girl

The Smithsonian National Zoo's three-week old baby gorilla, born to mom Mandara (26) and dad Baraka (16) on January 10, is a girl. The unnamed female newborn just may prove to be some competition to beloved adolescent panda Tai Shan!

Photo: NZP

Gorilla infants typically stay with their mothers for 3-4 years.  This behavior is consistent for both Lowland Gorillas like Mandara, Baraka, and their baby, and for Mountain Gorillas. Sadly, both species have been hunted and killed in great numbers in the wild and are listed as endangered. In fact, it is estimated that only 740 Mountain Gorillas still remain in the forests of East Africa.

For hardy types, a gorilla trekking adventure to Uganda and Rwanda could be the trip of a lifetime. Can't travel that far? Just visit the Zoo's Great Ape House to catch a glimpse of the newest arrival.