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Toronto Zoo looks for name for baby gorilla

By: The Canadian Press

 | Apr 02, 2014 - 9:46 AM |
A baby gorilla sits with her mother Ngozi at the Toronto Zoo in this recent handout photo. The Toronto Zoo says it needs helps naming its new baby gorilla. The female western lowland gorilla was born at the zoo on Jan. 10 to mom Ngozi and dad Charles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Toronto Zoo/Corrina Aimers

A baby gorilla sits with her mother Ngozi at the Toronto Zoo in this recent handout photo. The Toronto Zoo says it needs helps naming its new baby gorilla. The female western lowland gorilla was born at the zoo on Jan. 10 to mom Ngozi and dad Charles. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Toronto Zoo/Corrina Aimers

TORONTO - The Toronto Zoo says it needs helps naming its new baby gorilla.

The female western lowland gorilla was born at the zoo on Jan. 10 to mom Ngozi and dad Charles.

The three-month-old baby is the 15th gorilla to be sired by Charles and born at the Toronto Zoo since it opened in 1974, zoo officials say.

Names can be submitted online on the zoo's website until April 22 and the winning name will be announced at the end of the month. The zoo says the name should be suitable for a female and African names are desired.

The name must also start with the letter "N" in line with the zoo's tradition of naming baby gorillas with the first initial from the mother's name. The baby's older brother Nassir was born in 2009.

The zoo says the new baby is genetically significant for the western lowland gorilla population being raised in North America, since it is a critically endangered species. The zoo is a longtime partner in the Gorilla Species Survival Plan which focuses on conservation to help prevent extinction.

The zoo says Ngozi likes to rock her baby and that staff and visitors will often find the mother gorilla tenderly gazing at her newborn's face. She has not put the baby down since the day she was born, zoo officials say, and she probably won't for many more months.

The zoo also went to the public earlier this year to help name a polar bear cub born in November. More than 14,000 people voted to pick a name from among six offered by the zoo.

The winning name was Humphrey but the zoo also gave the cub an additional Inuit name — Piujuq — meaning "good and nice."

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