Philly Zoo's naming contest for baby gorilla ends in a landslide
The female baby gorilla will be named "Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili, one of the languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After two days of online voting, the people have spoken.
The Philadelphia Zoo's new western lowland gorilla will be named "Amani," which means "peace" in Swahili.
Amani beat out the other three options, Isangi (a Congolese village), Mapendo ("great love"), and Muyisa ("luck") in a "landslide," the zoo said on its blog. The four options came from the names of four orphaned eastern lowland gorillas that were rescued by the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center, known as GRACE, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Philadelphia baby's new namesake, an 8-year-old female, was given the moniker "Amani" in 2009 after United Nations peacekeepers rescued her from poachers who were trying to sell her, despite a wounded leg and severe dehydration.
"She lives up to her peaceful name, as she is the gentlest gorilla in the group. She loves to play with the younger gorillas and make peace after conflicts between group members," the zoo wrote of the elder Amani.
Voters were asked to give at least $1 donation per vote, and the zoo matched each dollar for a total donation of $13,200 to GRACE.
Amani is the first gorilla born in Philadelphia in about 20 years. Now five weeks old, the infant is "in constant contact" with her mother Honi, and closely guarded by father Motuba, the zoo said.
The zoo now has six western lowland gorillas, which are a critically endangered species. The public can see the baby and others at the zoo's Peco Primate Reserve.