Denver Zoo welcomes birth of endangered gorilla

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DENVER — A gorilla at the Denver Zoo is learning how to be a mother after giving birth to a female critically endangered western lowland gorilla.

The gorilla was born Feb. 25 and was named Whimsie Adepa, the zoo said Tuesday. It’s an important birth because it’s the first of the species at the zoo in 11 years when Whimsie Adepa’s mother was born.

According to zoo officials, the mother, Tinga,  has quickly adapted to her new role, spending all her time with the baby, “talking” to her and patting her back to soothe her. It’s the second baby for father Jim, and zookeepers said he’s protective and gentle.

The zoo said western lowland gorillas are social animals that live in family groups, called troops. The gorillas typically live in the lowlands, swamps and forests of western central Africa. They can grow to be up to 5 1/2 feet tall and males can weigh up to 500 pounds.

The second part of the baby’s name, Adepa, means “good thing” in the Akan language of Ghana.  Zoo guests can see the new baby at the zoo’s Great Apes building.

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