Ever wondered what one-week old Gorilla babies look like?
The mother is Malui. She is the oldest female in the Makumba group. She gave birth in the middle of the night just under a fortnight ago.
We knew the next morning that she had given birth, but it took me a further three days to spot that she had actually had twins! It then took me a week to get a photo of both the babies (she is understandably very protective). She keeps them very close to her chest and rarely comes out in the open.
Twins in Gorillas are, apparently, incredibly rare. I can’t lay my hands on any statistics as to exactly how rare, but in the last 20 years of this project in Dzanga Sangha National Park, no-one has ever seen twins born before.
We are fairly sure that this is the first time ever that a habituated Lowland Gorilla has given birth to twins.
Everyone is naturally rather excited, hopefully no-one more so, in her own way, than Malui herself. From what we can tell at this stage (and it is very early days) both babies appear to be happy and healthy.
It’s nice to be able to report a good news story from the world of conservation!