Oklahoma City Zoo announces sweet name of baby gorilla

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Zoo's newest arrival now has a name!

Last month, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden announced a male Western lowland gorilla was born on June 19th inside the Great EscApe day room.

Baby gorilla born at the Oklahoma City Zoo

Despite multiple attempts, the gorilla's mother was not showing any signs of maternal care toward her baby since giving birth, and the OKC Zoo’s veterinarian and caretaker teams made the decision to hand rear the infant.

“We gave Ndjole several opportunities to bond with her newborn within the first 24 hours but saw no signs that she was interested in caring for him,” said Robin Newby, assistant curator of primates. “Zoo animal care team members and trained volunteers will provide around-the-clock care in an off-exhibit area in Great EscApe as we continue to explore every option to reunite the infant with other gorillas.”

On Wednesday, officials announced that the gorilla was named 'Finyezi,' but is being called 'Fin' for short. The name means firefly in the Zulu language.

With this recent addition, the zoo continues its involvement in the Gorilla SSP.

One of the SSP's most important roles is to manage gorillas as a population to ensure that the population remains healthy, genetically-diverse and self-sustaining.

Native to the lowland forests of Central and Western Africa, Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered.

Commercial hunting for meat, habitat loss and disease are contributing factors to their status in the wild.

This recent addition marks the 27th gorilla born at the Oklahoma City Zoo since 1974, zoo officials said.