Prague Zoo gorilla Duni is expecting a baby

Director Miroslav Bobek revealed the news this weekend as Prague Zoo anticipates another high-profile animal birth. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.05.2023 09:59:00 (updated on 30.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Zoo is expecting another high-profile birth! Duni, the daughter of the zoo's famed gorilla Moja, is currently several weeks pregnant, Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek revealed on social media this weekend.

With gorilla gestation periods typically lasting between 250 and 300 days, Duni could be expected to give birth early next year. She'll spend her gestation period at Prague Zoo's Dja Reserve with her family, including male mate Kisumu.

While Duni is the offspring of a Prague Zoo gorilla, she was not born at the zoo. Mother Moja made headlines when she became the first gorilla born in the Czech Republic in 2004, but she was relocated years later in efforts to improve her chances of finding a mate.

Moja ended up in Cabárceno Park in Spain in 2011, and efforts to find her a mate proved successful: Duni was born just two years later. While Moja remains at Cabárceno Park today, Duni was relocated to Prague last summer as Prague Zoo attempts to continue its gorilla breeding program.

As Richard, Prague Zoo's famously photogenic dominant male, is no longer able to father cubs in Europe due to the expanse of his lineage, male Kisumu joined Prague Zoo last year from Schmiding Zoo in Austria alongside Duni. They reside in Prague Zoo's new Dja Reserve pavilion with females Shinda, Kijiva, and Kamba, and male Ajabu.

The lowland gorilla, native to equatorial Africa, is the largest and most robust among the great apes, measuring up to 1.8 meters and weighing up to 275 kilograms. These primates, predominantly adorned with black fur, primarily feed on plants. Gorillas live in family units led by a dominant male.

Prague Zoo has housed lowland gorillas since 1963. The first gorilla resident, a male named Titan, was followed by the arrival of the female Nigra. Forty years later, the zoo welcomed its first gorilla cub with Duni's mother Moja.

Prague Zoo annually ranks among the most popular attractions in the Czech capital. In 2022, the zoo received nearly 1.42 million visitors, just slightly below the pre-Covid levels of 2019.

The new Dja Reserve represents the largest exhibition area at Prague Zoo, housing not only lowland gorillas but also mantled guerezas, marsupials, pouched rats, and flying foxes.

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