Woodland Park Zoo’s baby gorilla has been named by a member of the public after nearly 3,500 locals weighed in to name her.
The little one was named Yola, which means firefly in the African language, Hausa.
Yola, who was born last November, was named by Bruce Erhardt of Orting, Washington. Erhardt has taken home a bunch of fantastic prizes for his naming efforts including a one-year annual Woodland Park Zoo membership; one ZooParent gorilla adoption; one opportunity to join a gorilla staff member for a private meet and greet for up to five people at the public viewpoint of the gorilla exhibit once the baby is on view; and one framed photograph of the newly-named gorilla infant.
Woodland Park Zoo held a naming contest where community members submitted female names from the African languages of Hausa, Yoruba or Ibo.
“We chose Yola because this infant has been a spark that has solidified the bonds within her mom’s group,” said Hugh Bailey, lead gorilla keeper at Woodland Park Zoo. “Also, as the only grandchild of Congo (deceased), she keeps the ‘fire’ of his lineage alive.”
Yola is the offspring of 20-year-old mom Nadiri and 37-year-old dad Vip, who has sired six other offspring with three different females at the zoo. He currently lives at the zoo in another group with two females.
The other gorillas currently living at Woodland Park Zoo are: females Amanda, 46; Jumoke, 30; Akenji, 14; Uzumma, 8; and males Pete, 48, and Leonel, 38.
Welcome baby Yola!
Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo.