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N.C. Zoo's Baby Gorillas Celebrate First Birthday

Baby gorillas “Bomassa” and “Apollo” with moms “Jamani” (second from left) and “Olympia” will both get a first-birthday party at the N.C. Zoo on August 3.
N.C. Zoo photo by Diane Villa

Baby gorillas Bomassa and Apollo, who were born at the North Carolina Zoo, have reached a milestone: their first birthdays. 

The public is invited to celebrate the occasion at the North Carolina Zoo's Forest Glade gorilla exhibit on Saturday, August 3. Starting at 9:30 a.m., there will be live African music, special treats for the gorillas, and question and answer sessions with the gorilla keepers. Just like at any birthday party, visitors will be invited to sing "Happy Birthday" to the birthday boys to conclude the festivities.

Bomassa, who was born on August 4, 2012, was the first gorilla born at the State Zoo in 23 years. Less than a month later came baby boy Apollo. A third gorilla, born in July, didn't make it to his first birthday. He died less than a week after being born. The three share the same father, Nkosi, a 20-year-old male.

The birth of three gorillas in less than 11 months is a rare feat for the North Carolina Zoo, only four gorillas have even been born there. The Zoo has also launched a digital magazine for the iPad, "The N.C. Zoo Gorilla Magazine," to help the public learn more about the animals.

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