VIDEO: Apey’s birthday at the zoo: joint birthday party for 2 gorillas from the animal park
A zoo in Spain reported that two of its critically endangered gorillas celebrated their birthdays.
Bioparc Valencia, located in Valencia, Spain, said Jitu, a male silverback gorilla, turned 38 on October 15, while Fossey, a female, turned 22 on October 16.
Gorillas live in family groups of five to ten, but up to 50. They are led by a dominant adult male – or silverback.
The zoo said the gorillas are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature‘s Red List of Threatened Species, which is why “the birthdays of two of the gorillas that the Bioparc Valencia is home to a cause for joy “.
“Jitu is one of the park’s most admired animals, a majestic western coastal gorilla who is celebrating his 38th birthday today. The entire technical team has always paid close attention to his health, Jitu having had surgery for a testicular tumor in 2008, so maintaining his strength is essential, ”the zoo said.
He also indicated that Fossey “moved to Valencia with the male Mambie in 2007. For the first time, our town had the honor of welcoming a gorilla breeding group and thus being part of the international program for its ex situ conservation.
“Fossey gave birth to Pepe in 2018, one of four gorillas born at the Bioparc. Contemplating this family today, with each other’s games and interactions, represents the hope of contributing to the recovery of this iconic species.
Gorillas are “one of five species of great ape that exist, along with orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos. They are our closest living “relatives” and we are bringing them to the brink of extinction. Therefore, all coordinated conservation actions are essential to save them, ”the zoo said.
Gorillas and humans share about 98% of their genetic code, according to 2012 gorilla genome sequencing, published in the journal Nature.
Equally vital is the protection of the gorilla’s original habitat, such as the Ebo forest research project in Cameroon. The zoo said, “Ebo Forest symbolizes the struggle for nature preservation in the face of devastating human activity.
“This ecosystem is a treasure for its biodiversity and last year it was in serious danger, due to the interests of the timber industry. A significant international mobilization manages to stop the project. Today, the fight to make Ebo Forest a sanctuary for gorillas is more alive than ever.
The population of the species is threatened by rapid habitat destruction, due to mining and commercial logging, as well as hunting and poaching.
Edited by Fern Siegel and Kristen Butler