L.A. Zoo Announces Name of 1st Gorilla Born at Facility in Over 20 Years

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N’djia and Angela are seen in a photo released by the L.A. Zoo on Feb. 18, 2020.

N’djia and Angela are seen in a photo released by the L.A. Zoo on Feb. 18, 2020.

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The first gorilla born at the Los Angeles Zoo in more than two decades now has a name, officials announced Tuesday.

Angela is the daughter of N’djia, a 25-year-old western lowland gorilla, and her partner Kelly, a 32-year-old silverback gorilla.

She was born at the Griffith Park facility on the morning of Jan. 18, marking the first gorilla birth there since 1996.

Angela was named after the daughter of a longtime L.A. Zoo donor, Basil Collier, according to Beth Schaefer, the zoo’s director of animal programs.

“We think the name is perfect considering this girl was born here in Los Angeles, which naturally makes her a proud Angeleno,” Schaefer said in a news release from the zoo.

Her birth spurred Collier — who is the director of the nonprofit Angela Collier Foundation — to reach out to help the zoo’s efforts in western lowland gorilla conservation; the species is listed as critically endangered in the wild as a result of illegal hunting, habitat degradation and destruction, and diseases such as Ebola, according to the release.

“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,” Basil Collier said in the release. “Naming the baby after Angela is a confirmation of the fine work of the L.A. Zoo in saving animals from extinction.”

Since her birth one month ago, Angela has won over her troop and inspired many to visit the facility’s Campo Gorilla Reserve for a glimpse of some mother-baby bonding.

“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,” Schaefer said.

Guests can see N’djia, Kelly and Angela at the exhibit daily, as well as the two other residents, Rapunzel, 35, and Evelyn, 43.

Western lowland gorillas can grow up to 4- to 6-feet tall and weigh 125 to 420 pounds when they are fully grown, according to the zoo’s website.

They are known to inhabit lowlands and swamp forests in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Angola.

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