Nneka was born January 10, 2014 to mom Ngozi and dad Charles. Born in the Night Room in the early hours of the morning, Nneka was born with all of the other gorillas present. Our little girl isn't so little anymore, now having the strength to cling onto mom unaided. She has become quite curious, and continues to venture further from mom to explore, all while under Ngozi's watchful eye. Nneka was introduced to some solid food around 6 months of age, but will continue to breast feed until she is approximately 4 years old.
Nneka is Ngozi's second offspring, after Nassir her 6 year old big brother. This sibling pair has grown quite a bond and you will often see him playing with her and carrying her on his back. Keepers have noted he is extremely gentle with her and if he gets too rough Nneka will make a cry to mom to tell him to stop - just as siblings do!
The family dynamic between Charles, Ngozi, Nassir and Nneka, is incredible to watch. Much like human behavior you will often observe Ngozi scold Nassir if he is playing too rough with his baby sister, or if it is time for Nneka to rest. Charles, who has never been observed carrying around any of his infants, will likely play with Nneka as she gets older. As the silverback of the troop he will not help with the child rearing duties, but you will notice him keeping a watchful eye on them as his job is to keep the family safe.
Zoo staff continue to cherish the opportunity they have to observe Nneka’s development and witness the new things she learns daily. Be sure to visit her and the rest of our troop in the African Rainforest Pavilion.
January 10, 2014