New gorilla and lions join zoo

Kiki, a western lowland gorilla, gave birth on May 14 at Franklin Park Zoo to her fourth baby. Both mother and baby are doing well are already back on exhibit.

And following the death of elderly lion Christopher last month, the zoo has also announced the addition of two new male lions: 6-year-old brothers Dinari and Kamaia.

“The [gorilla] baby appears strong, healthy and alert,” Jeannine Jackle, assistant curator of the zoo’s Tropical Forest area, said in a press release. “All of these are very good signs, and we will continue to closely monitor Kiki and the baby while they’re on exhibit.”

The baby gorilla’s sex is not yet known.

This is Kiki’s fourth baby with her mate Kitombe. Kiki, one of seven western lowland gorillas at Franklin Park Zoo, resides in the Tropical Forest Pavilion with daughters Kimani, age 10, and Kambiri, age 4. Oldest daughter Kira moved to the Philadelphia Zoo two years ago.

Lions Dinari and Kamaia, meanwhile, were slated to join the zoo this week, after the Gazette’s deadline, zoo spokesperson Erin DeVito said.

“We are absolutely thrilled about the addition of these two lions,” Zoo New England President and CEO John Linehan said in a release. “These two brothers are incredibly bonded and we are looking forward to when they make their exhibit debut.”

The lion exhibit at Franklin Park Zoo has been empty since the death of Christopher the lion in early April. At age 21, Christopher was among the oldest lions in the North American population and he had been treated for a number of age-related health issues.

Franklin Park Zoo’s website is

CLARIFICATION: This article has been edited to clarify that lions Dinari and Kamaia are not yet on exhibit.

The lions coming to the Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo courtesy Cathy Burkey, Dallas Zoo)

The lions coming to the Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo courtesy Cathy Burkey, Dallas Zoo)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *