The Los Angeles Zoo's newest gorilla has been named Angela, after the daughter of a longtime supporter of the zoo, it was announced Tuesday.
"The Los Angeles Zoo is very fortunate to have had a longtime donor name the gorilla baby after his daughter, Angela," said Beth Schaefer, the director of animal programs at the zoo. "We can already see how the community is connecting with this baby, which is shining a light on this critically endangered species and what we can do to save them from extinction."
Born Jan. 18, the baby western lowland gorilla has been drawing visitors to the Campo Gorilla Reserve, where she's been bonding with her mother, N'djia.
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"We have long hoped for the birth of a female gorilla so that we could name her in honor of our daughter, Angela Collier, who spent her short life believing that the most important contribution she could make to the world was for the welfare of animals," said Basil Collier, director of the Angela Collier Foundation.
"Naming the baby after Angela is a confirmation of the fine work of the Los Angeles Zoo in saving animals from extinction," he said.
The foundation was formed in 1996 to promote animal rights and prevent animal cruelty. Western lowland gorillas are currently considered critically endangered in the wild due to illegal hunting, susceptibility to diseases such as the Ebola virus and habitat degradation and destruction.
The species is native to the lowlands and swamp forests of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Angola.
They are peaceful and social animals that live in stable, cohesive groups composed of one silverback adult male, several adult females and their offspring. Guests can visit the Campo Gorilla Reserve exhibit at the zoo daily to observe N'djia, father Kelly and Angela, along with their companions Rapunzel and Evelyn, weather permitting. For the latest updates on Angela story, follow along at @lazoo or #lazoo on social media.