The baby's dad, Bangui, is said to be doing a great job guarding his mate and their new child.

By Kelli Bender
April 12, 2019
Image courtesy of Patrick Bolger/Dublin Zoo.

Everyone is all smiles at the Dublin Zoo.

According to the Irish zoo, their western lowland gorilla Kafi became a mom for the first time on April 1.

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The primate welcomed a healthy baby ape, who weighed around 5.5 pounds at birth. The Dublin Zoo says both Kafi and her baby are doing well and are “so cute.”

Image courtesy of Patrick Bolger/Dublin Zoo.

Kafi, understandably, hasn’t wanted to let her new baby go, and has kept the little gorilla close to her heart since giving birth. Because of the new mom’s welcomed attachment to her baby, keepers have been unable to determine the tiny gorilla’s sex yet.

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Also doing a great job on the baby-raising front is dad Bangui, who arrived at Dublin Zoo last year.

“Kafi is doing a fantastic job so far as a first-time mother, keeping the young baby physically close in these crucial early stages. Bangui is proving to be an attentive father and at night has been sleeping close to Kafi and the baby. Kafi seems comfortable and at ease and we expect her to mix with the rest of the gorilla troop very soon,” Helen Clarke-Bennett, team leader of the African Plains at Dublin Zoo, said in a statement.

Image courtesy of Patrick Bolger/Dublin Zoo.

Clarke-Bennett added that Kafi likely picked up her top-notch parenting skills from the other females in her troop. The new mom has “witnessed other female gorillas give birth and raise their young which has been a huge help in teaching Kafi how to look after her own baby.”

Image courtesy of Patrick Bolger/Dublin Zoo.

The unnamed gorilla baby is described as a “great step forward” for the critically endangered western lowland gorilla species.

Dublin Zoo says the number of western lowland gorillas is expected to drop by 80% from 1980 to 2046 due to deforestation, hunting and the effects of the highly contagious Ebola virus, so every gorilla birth is a celebrated event.

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