Berlin Zoo

A Birthday Celebration For Tilla!

Tilla the Gorilla was born at Berlin Zoo the night of February 15, 2021. She is the first offspring for gorilla mom Bibi (24) and silverback Sango (17). The extended family has mastered the first year with flying colors. "Tilla has developed splendidly since her birth. Mother Bibi is caring for her offspring and Sango is also living up to his fatherly role," explains district manager Christian Aust. "Tilla is now becoming more and more independent and courageous, curiously exploring every corner of the enclosure and sometimes dangling upside down from a liana."


The First Year In Tilla's Life!

Tilla the Gorilla was born at Berlin Zoo the night of February 15, 2021. She is the first offspring for gorilla mom Bibi (24) and silverback Sango (17). The extended family has mastered the first year with flying colors. "Tilla has developed splendidly since her birth. Mother Bibi is caring for her offspring and Sango is also living up to his fatherly role," explains district manager Christian Aust. "Tilla is now becoming more and more independent and courageous, curiously exploring every corner of the enclosure and sometimes dangling upside down from a liana."


Watch Tilla The Baby Gorilla Climbing On Her Own!

Tilla, now about a month shy of her first birthday, bravely explores her surroundings and keeps the whole gorilla family on their toes at Zoo Berlin. If the little adventurer climbs too high from Mother Bibi's point of view, the lofty expedition will end early. Slowly but surely Tilla is being trusted more and more. Berlin’s gorilla baby is becoming more and more fearless everyday.

Westlicher Flachland-Gorilla - Nachwuchs Tilla (1)

Photos and video: ©Zoo Berlin

Tilla, previously on ZooBorns:

https://youtu.be/1iX_AdLy-bE
https://youtu.be/FpaffLvLENw


Capybara Quadruplets!

Not one, not two, not three, but four little capybaras are currently causing a lot of commotion in Zoo Berlin’s South America exhibit.

What are the sexes of the quartet? Zoo officials will know for sure after the second veterinarian examination in a few weeks. At that time the search for names will begin.

The quadruplets are the second litter for Berlin’s capybaras Marly and Augustin. Lotte, Wilma and Merle were born in April. You can visit Zoo Berlin’s Capybara family of nine at The Zoo’s expansion site.


Zoo Berlin’s Baby Gorilla Has A Name – And Is Now Helping Raise Funds For A New Home

Tilla Needs A Villa

All over Germany, from Berlin to Bonn and from Breisgau to Buxtehude, people have spent the past few weeks coming up with suitable names for Zoo Berlin’s newborn female gorilla. Many media outlets got involved in the name search, as news of Berlin’s first gorilla baby in 16 years spread throughout the region, the nation – and even the rest of the world. It’s no wonder, then, that Zoo Berlin received more than 17,000 name suggestions within seven days – 15,000 via social media channels alone. Many of the ideas made reference to the current situation, including “Hope” and “Covi”. There was even a suggestion to name her “Frau Merkel” after the German Chancellor.

Tilla_braucht_ne Villa_Zoo Berlin (2)
Tilla_braucht_ne Villa_Zoo Berlin (2)

“We were overwhelmed by the number of submissions and would like to express our sincere thanks for the many, in some cases very personal, name suggestions,” says Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “It was no easy task, but we finally decided to name our little gorilla Tilla.” The animal keepers marked the occasion by treating the gorilla family to a special feast. “Contrary to what many people assume, a gorilla’s diet consists mostly of salad and vegetables,” explains Zoo veterinarian Dr André Schüle. “The buffet we laid on for Bibi, Sango and the rest of the family featured rice, raspberries, pomegranate, peppers and carrots and was a real treat for the eyes as well as the belly.”

FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN FOR A NEW PRIMATE HOUSE

With coronavirus-related losses in the tens of millions, last year dealt a massive financial blow to Zoo Berlin. As a result, it is now an even greater challenge to raise funds for upcoming construction projects like the new Primate House. Zoo Berlin therefore needs outside support to realise its goal of giving the primates a more spacious home with natural features as soon as possible. Donations are currently being collected for Tilla and her family under the campaign motto “My gorilla needs a villa at the Zoo”. Each and every contribution is greatly appreciated: www.zoo-berlin.de/gorillatilla

Background information

Following a gestation period of about eight and a half months, a female gorilla was born at Zoo Berlin on the night of 15 February. The last time a gorilla came into the world here was 16 years ago. For the first few months, the infant is completely dependent on her mother’s care and she will live off her milk for four to five years. Mother Bibi (24) spent the first nine years of her life in a gorilla family at Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands. During this time, she observed other gorillas taking care of their young, which provided her with a good example of how to raise her own infant. This is the first offspring for both Bibi and Zoo Berlin’s silverback Sango (16). As well as Sango and Bibi, Zoo Berlin’s gorilla family includes females Djambala (19) and Mpenzi (35). Elderly Fatou (63), the oldest known gorilla in the world, is spending her retirement in a separate, neighbouring habitat. During these crucial early days, only the animal keepers are permitted to enter the Primate House – which is currently closed to visitors anyway due to coronavirus restrictions.

Gorillas are the largest and heaviest of the great apes. An adult male can measure up to two metres when standing upright and weighs about 220 kilos. On the recommendation of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), male gorilla Sango moved from Pairi Daiza in Belgium to Zoo Berlin in February 2019 to complete Berlin’s gorilla family. Tragically, these remarkable herbivores are threatened with extinction in the wild because of habitat destruction and illegal hunting.


Baby Gorilla Born at Zoo Berlin

The little ape with its small, delicate body and big dark eyes hides shyly in the arms of its mother Bibi (24). Following a gestation period of about eight and a half months, the infant was born at Zoo Berlin on the night of 15 February. The last time a gorilla came into the world here was 16 years ago. For the Zoo Berlin team, it is now a case of watching from the sidelines with wonder and bated breath: “We are very relieved that the baby looks fit and healthy and that the mother appears to be taking good care of her offspring,” says Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. During these crucial early days, only division head Christian Aust and his team of animal keepers will enter the Primate House – which is currently closed to visitors anyway due to coronavirus restrictions. “Peace and quiet are top priority,” says Knieriem.

Gorillajungtier_ZooBerlin2021 (1)

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Bibi spent the first nine years of her life in a gorilla family at Apenheul Primate Park in the Netherlands. During this time, she observed other gorillas taking care of their young, which provided her with a good example of how to raise her own infant. At birth, a baby gorilla is greyish pink in colour and has just a few dark hairs on its head and back. The skin starts to turn black only after a couple of days. This is the first offspring for both Bibi and Zoo Berlin’s silverback Sango (16). “For the first few months, a baby gorilla is completely dependent on its mother’s care and lives off her milk for four to five years,” explains Zoo Berlin’s veterinarian Dr. André Schüle. “Little gorillas can hold on to their mother’s fur from the moment they are born, and she carries them around wherever she goes – initially on her tummy and later on her back.” As mother and baby are not yet being approached by either animal keepers or veterinarians, the baby’s sex is not known and its birth weight could not be determined. Generally, newborn gorillas weigh about two kilos. “Happily, we have already observed the young gorilla suckling,” reports Schüle. Although the whole gorilla group is showing a lot of interest in the new family member, the mother is solely responsible for rearing her infant. As well as Sango and Bibi, Zoo Berlin’s gorilla family includes females Djambala (19) and Mpenzi (35). Elderly Fatou (63), the oldest known gorilla in the world, is spending her retirement in a separate, neighbouring habitat.

Gorillas are the largest and heaviest of the great apes. An adult male can measure up to two metres when standing upright and weighs about 220 kilos. On the recommendation of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), male gorilla Sango moved from Pairi Daiza in Belgium to Zoo Berlin in February 2019 to complete Berlin’s gorilla family. Tragically, these remarkable herbivores are threatened with extinction in the wild because of habitat destruction and illegal hunting.