The only male baby gorilla ever to be born at Blackpool Zoo turned one year old today – and he celebrated with a mashed potato and rice birthday cake!
The birth of little Moanda, who is the son of resident silverback Bukavu and Njema, was a momentous occasion for the zoo, which is also home to his half-sister Meisie, her mother Miliki and another female Kena.
Since he arrived Moanda has made fantastic progress, moving around independently and cutting his first teeth at six months old.
He can now climb to all the different levels of the Ape House and his favourite foods include marmite and rice, boiled potato, yogurt and, of course, mashed potato!
Keepers made an extra special birthday cake to mark the occasion, which Moanda’s mum wasted no time helping him to eat!
Charlotte Pennie, Senior Primate Keeper at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Moanda is a very special little man indeed and is a crucial part of the European Breeding Programme for Western Lowland Gorillas.
“He is the first male, and only the second baby gorilla, ever to be born at Blackpool Zoo, which is testament to the care given by keepers and the excellent environment here.
“Western Lowland Gorilla numbers have declined over 60 per cent in the past 20 years, which means they are critically endangered in the wild. Breeding programmes are vital to ensure the future survival of such as majestical species.
“Moanda and his half- sister Meisie are firm favourites with our visitors and it has been an absolute pleasure to see the two little ones running round.”