The Philadelphia Zoo's new baby gorilla is a girl, and the public can now help choose her name.
The baby's gender wasn't immediately known because mom Honi had been holding the young gorilla too closely for zoo staff to see.
People can now help name the gorilla by voting online for their favorite of four choices: Amani, Isangi, Mapendo, or Muyisa.
The Swahili names are in honor of orphaned gorillas at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center, known as GRACE, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the zoo said. The nonprofit helps gorillas that are victims of poaching.
The public can vote by making a donation to GRACE in honor of their name of choice. Each $1 donated counts as one vote, and voters will also be entered in a drawing for a zoo prize package.
Voting is open through Thursday at 4 p.m.
The zoo said it would match the donations to GRACE up to $10,000.
The zoo's website gives these explanations for how the GRACE gorillas got their names:
- Amani means "peace" and was named that "because her rescue was facilitated by U.N. peacekeepers working in eastern DRC to help stabilize the region."
- Isangi "was named after the village where she was surrendered to a Congolese community organization that cared for her."
- Mapendo means "great love." She is "a good friend to other gorillas and likes to carry around and mother younger gorillas."
- Muyisa means "luck." She was named "to signify her return to her Congo home" after having been first taken to Rwanda
The zoo now has six western lowland gorillas, which are a critically endangered species. The public can see the baby and others at the zoo's Peco Primate Reserve.
The baby girl is the second birth for the 21-year-old Honi and the first for Honi and father Motuba, 31, together.
"Honi is in constant contact with the infant confidently cradling, cuddling and carrying her 24 hours a day," the zoo wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Dad Motuba is sticking close by to guard and protect the family, a role that male gorillas typically play in the group dynamic."
A photo posted by Philadelphia Zoo (@philadelphiazoo) on Sep 21, 2016 at 5:16am PDT
Honi, who was born at the Bronx Zoo, came to Philadelphia in March 2007. Motuba was born at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio and came to Philadelphia from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in February 2014.
The baby is the first gorilla born in Philadelphia in about 20 years.
Snack time for mom and nap time for baby! Visit the link in our bio to learn more about our new gorilla baby, Honi's pregnancy and ways your can help protect gorillas in the wild. #phillyzoo #baby #gorilla #babygorilla #cute
A photo posted by Philadelphia Zoo (@philadelphiazoo) on Sep 18, 2016 at 8:43am PDT