SF Zoo baby gorilla makes public debut

June 5, 2009 9:16:51 PM PDT
A baby gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo made his public debut on Friday in an outside habitat.

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Hasani, the six-month-old endangered Western Lowland gorilla, made his much anticipated appearance on Friday, clutching his surrogate mother's leg.

This little guy has had a long road to this - his first day of showing off in public at the San Francisco Zoo.

"Unfortunately mom didn't really care for him so staff did step in to take care of him," said curator of primates Corinne MacDonald.

What mother could resist this face you ask?

Well it seems that sometimes gorillas just aren't into being parents. So the zoo looked for another mother to adopt little Hasani.

On April 28th, the zoo introduced Hasani to Bawang, another female gorilla at the zoo.

"And it went great. The first few hours were a little slow moving, but Hasani early in the afternoon finally approached Bawang and that's all she needed, she needed it to be on his terms, and that was that, and they have been together ever since," said MacDonald.

But this successful union is just the beginning for Hasani. He will still have to be slowly integrated with the other gorillas at the zoo, including his birth mother.

"You know there's always some level of concern, but I think it's going to go really well. He's a confident little guy and they are all really curious about him -- all signs inside have been positive," said MacDonald

And the reaction from the public has been positive as well. Some people have been waiting for this day.

"I think it's nice to see the baby gorilla - he's been talking about it so it's good to see him," said a zoo visitor.

Others were pleasantly surprised.

"What a treat - it's so, so cute," said another zoo visitor.

So it seems Hasani is a celebrity, and why not, when you're this cute you're sure to steal hearts.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel.

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