Disney's Animal Kingdom has welcomed a new addition to their western lowland gorilla family troop!
Grace, a female western gorilla, was born on May 1, 2019, and her birth is an important step in sustaining the critically endangered species which has been in decline due to hunting and habitat loss.
The Disney Parks Blog announced that, "…both mom and baby are doing well and bonding onstage at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail with the rest of the family troop. The entire family even joined in the celebration of the new baby's arrival with a special enrichment tactic to reveal the baby's gender."
Grace's parents, mother Kashata and father Gino, were selected to breed as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The plan ensures responsible breeding of critically endangered species so they will have healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come.
CUTE ALERT 😍 Baby #gorilla graces #AnimalKingdom visitors with her presence 🦍 | Read more about the newborn: https://t.co/KtRxA5i4a5 #wdw #WaltDisneyWorld @WDWToday @WaltDisneyWorld @DisneyParks pic.twitter.com/3rUxeo5RhK— WFTV Channel 9 (@WFTV) May 2, 2019
Grace is named after the GRACE gorilla sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is dedicated to helping gorillas orphaned by poaching. Animal care experts from Disney’s Animal Kingdom have spent more than 10 years helping the GRACE team and local community rehabilitate orphan gorillas and protect the species in the wild.
Guests visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom can join in the celebration of the baby's arrival by visiting Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and may catch a glimpse of Kashata and the baby. Exclusive photo opportunities are also available, as well as a specialty cupcake, available for purchase at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.
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