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Public Picks Name for Baby Gorilla at Brookfield Zoo

The four-month-old gorilla has been named Nora.

Public Picks Name for Baby Gorilla at Brookfield Zoo

Source: Brookfield Zoo press release

The wait is over.

After two weeks of asking for the public’s help in naming a 4-month-old female gorilla infant at Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Zoological Society announced the winning name: Nora, which means “honor” or “light.”

More than 70,000 votes were cast online during the voting period, which ran from February 18 through March 3.

The other name choices were Alima, which is a river in the Republic of Congo, where western lowland gorillas are native; Amelia, which means “industrious leader” or “flatterer”; and Emma, named after Emma Stokes, a gorilla researcher who discovered a large population of western lowland gorillas in the Republic of Congo. Nora received more than half the votes.

Nora was born on November 4, 2013, to 18-year-old mom Koola. Since Nora’s birth, Koola has been a very attentive mom. “Nora has become more aware of her surroundings but is always in contact with Koola,” said Craig Demitros, associate curator of primates for the Society. “She is beginning to show interest in food by mouthing pieces of the adults’ diet and is starting to manipulate objects in her environment. In the coming months, as Nora gets a little older, she will start riding on her mom’s back and become a little more independent by moving and climbing on her own.”

Guests can see Nora and Koola and the rest of the gorilla family daily in Brookfield Zoo’s Tropic World: Africa exhibit.

At the zoo’s upcoming Ape Awareness Weekend on APE-ril 5 and 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., zoogoers can participate in ape-related activities while learning about the three species of apes at the zoo: western lowland gorillas, orangutans, and white-cheeked gibbons. During the event, guests can also recycle their unwanted cell phones and accessories, pagers, handheld games, e-readers, and laptops and discover how this can help gorillas in their native habitat of West Africa.

The industry that produces these particular electronics is threatening gorillas’ and other forest species’ habitats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a significant amount of the world’s supply of coltan is mined. Cell phones and other such devices require this metallic ore. The greater the demand for these products, the greater the demand there is for coltan, which sadly results in the destruction of the forests and their inhabitants.

The Chicago Zoological Society inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo's innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. For further information, visit www.CZS.org.

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