Taipei Zoo gorilla given to Netherlands to become father

10/16/2020 09:29 PM
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Bao Bao in the Dutch Zoo in 2018. File photo courtesy of Apenheul Primate Park
Bao Bao in the Dutch Zoo in 2018. File photo courtesy of Apenheul Primate Park

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) Bao Bao, a male gorilla sent by Taipei Zoo in 2018 to the Netherlands, is expected to become a father next year, a landmark achievement in a global primate conservation program, according to Apenheul Primate Park in the European country.

"Bao Bao lived alone for a long time and his genes had not yet been used in the international breeding programme, so Apenheul is delighted that a gorilla baby is on the way!" said the Dutch zoo in a statement released Thursday, local time.

The fetus carried by 18-year-old female Gyasi will be the first for the 35-year-old Bao Bao, according to the zoo.

The Dutch zoo added that Gyasi's daughter, Tayari, is also pregnant after being sent to Taipei Zoo along with another female in November 2019.

Before heading to the Netherlands under the breeding program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Bao Bao had only lived with male gorillas, and was on his own between 2014 and 2016.

Bao Bao was only two years old when he was trafficked to Taiwan in 1987 by animal smugglers.

Taipei Zoo waited eight years before the association gave the nod to the exchanges in a bid to increase the biodiversity of gorillas in captivity.

While noting that "determining the date on which Gyasi will give birth is guesswork," the Dutch zoo said the new birth, expected in January or February, will be "extraordinary" for the institution, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

(By Kay Liu)

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