Dan Stamm

Philly Zoo Announces Baby Gorilla's Name After Online Voting


The Philadelphia Zoo announced the new name of its baby gorilla Monday following an online vote.

"Amani" which means "peace" in Swahili won the voting by a landslide, according to a release issued by the Zoo Monday.

Honi, 22, gave birth to the female western lowland gorilla on Aug. 26. Voters were able to choose between Amani, Isangi, Mapendo and Muyisa – the names of gorillas orphaned by poachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE). [[391921541, C]]

Amani is named after an 8-year-old gorilla who lives at GRACE and who was rescued in 2009 as part of a 3-month investigation by the Congolese wildlife authority.

“We are thrilled that people around the world showed their support by helping to name our gorilla Amani and supporting orphaned gorillas at GRACE. Zoos have a vital role in fostering connections between people and animals and this is a great example of this linkage,” says Kim Lengel, the Zoo’s VP for Conservation and Education.

Due to poaching and habitat destruction, both Grauer and western lowland gorillas are listed a critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said the zoo.

Voting opened Tuesday morning and ran through Thursday. Each voter donated at least $1 to GRACE with the zoo matching all donations up to $10,000.

Zoo officials said online voting proceeds totaled $6,600, which the zoo matched to equal a total donation to GRACE of $13,200. [[26343834, C]]

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