23 Aug 2014
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Brookfield Zoo Asks for Public's Help in Naming Baby Gorilla

A female western lowland gorilla was born to 18-year-old mom, Koola, this past November at Brookfield Zoo. The zoo is asking the public to pick between four names for the inquisitive little ape.

Brookfield Zoo Asks for Public's Help in Naming Baby Gorilla
By Amie Schaenzer 

A female western lowland gorilla was born to 18-year-old mom, Koola, this past November at Brookfield Zoo, and the manager of the zoo is now looking for the public's help in naming the inquisitive little ape with a name "she'll go bananas over," according to a Brookfield Zoo press release. 

The primate staff and Stuart Strahl, the president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, have selected four names. Voting opened today on the zoo's website. 

The four names are: 

  • Alima: which is a river in the Republic of Congo, where western lowland gorillas are native
  • Amelia: which means “industrious leader” or “flatterer”
  • Emma: named after Emma Stokes, a gorilla researcher who “discovered” a large population of western lowland gorillas in the Republic of Congo
  • Nora: which means “light” or “honor”
In the first day of voting, Alima is leading the vote count with 41 percent of votes. As of 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, Nora had 29 percent of the votes, Amelia had 16 percent of the votes and Emma had 11 percent of the votes. 

The public can cast their vote from Feb. 18 through 5 p.m. on March 3 on  the zoo's website. The name with the most votes will be announced on Tuesday, March 4, which is the same date the infant will be four months old.

“At nearly four months old, the infant is really starting to develop a personality,” said Craig Demitros, associate curator of primates for the Society. “Zoo guests will notice that Koola is still constantly carrying the baby, who has begun crawling on her mom’s belly. Also, the baby is becoming interested in her surroundings, is vocalizing more, is developing facial expressions, and has started to teethe.”

The public is encouraged to visit the unnamed infant at Brookfield Zoo during the contest period. The zoo is free on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through February.

TELL US in the comments section: What do you think this young gorilla's name should be? 

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