Monday, March 22, 2010

The kids keep coming to WDW's Animal Kingdom

And not just the human ones either! Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom celebrated the birth of a gorilla on February 19, 2010. The western lowland gorilla was born to first-time momma Kashata and daddy Gino, and share the family group with two other females, "Aunties" Benga and Hope.The gender of the baby is still unknown but visitors to Animal Kingdom's Paganini Forest Exploration Trail can get a glimpse of the now month-old baby, though Kashata keeps the wee one close, as you can see from the picture. That's the reason Disney's primate team members haven't been able to determine the baby's gender, but it's actually best that way, since it means Kashata is picking up on motherhood very easily! Gorilla moms can have a hard time with first babies, but that hasn't been the case here. Kashata's maternal instincts seem to have been spot-on from the very first. “Kashata has been a model mother from the moment the baby was born," said Matt Hohne, animal operations director for Disney’s Animal Programs. “She immediately knew how to properly hold the baby and her nursing skills have been exemplary.”

Lowland gorilla mothers hold their babies close for the first few months of life, so it might be a while before the primate team can get a close look at the baby. Plan your visit to Animal Kingdom and check out the gorillas at Paganini. If you get a glimpse of the baby, let us know! We'd love to see your pics too.


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