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Mommy and Baby
Credit: Marianne Hale

Over the last month, the San Francisco Zoo has been doing something amazing.  Slowly they have been shifting care of a five month old female Western lowland gorilla from the zoo staff, to the care of corresponding family living at the Zoo.  

To celebrate the baby gorilla joining her new family, the San Francicso Zoo put on a contest to help name her.  After the closing of the contest, the name decided upon was Kabibe, which means "Little Lady" in Swahili.

Once Kabibe was introduced full time into the gorilla family, the zoo staff was amazed at how quickly she was taken under the wing of 33 year old female gorilla, Bawang.  Bawang has quickly become Kabibe's adoptive mother and has made her transition into the family of six an easy one.  For Bawang, this isn't her first adoptive child.  5 years ago, she did the same thing with Kabibe's adoptive brother Hasani, who is now an excited big brother who enjoys spending supervised time with his new sister.

Bawang and Hasani aren't alone in their excitement.  All members of the gorilla family have shown interest and affection for Kabibe.  Adoption in the animal kingdom is an amazing thing, but what makes this even more amazing is that the Westerm Lowland gorilla is an endangered species.  The ability to assimilate with adopted family members helps give their survival against extinction a fighting chance.

Pictures of Kabibe & her new Family

Gorillas 2
Credit: Jessie Greger
Baby Gorilla
Credit: May Woon
Kabibe
Credit: May Woon
Mommy, son and daughter
Credit: May Woon

Kabibe with her Adoptive Mother Bawang

Pictures courtesay of San Francisco Zoo

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