A month after the Lincoln Park Zoo announced the birth of a western lowland gorilla in October, zoo officials have finally revealed her name.
(Scroll down to view new photos of Patty.)
According to Lincoln Park Zoo President & CEO Kevin Bell, the infant gorilla was named in honor of Patty Meyers, the mother-in-law of a Lincoln Park Zoo Life Trustee.
Lincoln Park Zoo said in a statement that Bana has cradled Patty so closely, the zoo’s animal care staff had to wait some time before they could get a close enough look at the infant to confidently confirm her sex.
“Bana is being a really great mom. She is doing exactly what we hoped she would do which is tenderly cuddle, nurse and care for her baby,” said Maureen Leahy, curator of primates at the zoo in a statement. “There has been no reason for animal care staff to handle the baby so we’ve just had to wait patiently for Bana to give us a close look at the infant.”
Motherhood has also changed Bana, the zoo said. The mother gorilla had been giving the zoo’s animal behavior and cognition scientists the brush-off, but is now showing more interesting in engaging with them.
According to the zoo, western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in their native central Africa.
Guests to the zoo can visit Bana and Patty at the zoo's Regenstein Center for African Apes.