Picking a Name for Kira's Baby Boy


Philadelphia Zoo is delighted to announce Kira and her baby boy are doing well after the unconventional and lifesaving delivery of the newborn performed on June 2. We are now happily looking forward to the next order of business – Kira’s baby needs a name! Last year, we enlisted the help of our global community to name Honi’s baby, Amani, using the opportunity to support gorilla conservation and highlight the plight of critically endangered gorillas in their natural habitats. We have, once again, proudly partnered with the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a sanctuary that rehabilitates Grauer’s gorillas whose families were killed by poachers. Grauer’s gorillas are endemic to eastern DRC and critically endangered; only 3,800 remain in the wild.

As part of its education mission, GRACE works with 140 Congolese youth (ages 9-13) organized into seven conservation clubs. These clubs encourage kids to be conservation leaders in their communities and to take local conservation actions, such as growing and planting trees to discourage the destruction of gorilla habitat.

choosing namesThis year we are thrilled to support GRACE’s conservation clubs, and have requested the kids’ help in selecting a name for Kira’s baby. Conservation club members learned about Philadelphia Zoo’s gorilla troop and our newborn’s birth, brainstorming, debating and selecting a list of Swahili and Kinande (local language) names for the Zoo’s newest addition.

As gorilla conservationists of the future, these children have an important role to play in protecting Grauer’s gorillas, and we’re humbled to have the opportunity to partner with them to help name our newborn gorilla. Organizations like GRACE are on the front lines of gorilla conservation and are critical to saving these great apes from extinction. Selecting Kira’s baby name with one provided by these students reinforces the connection we all have to animals across the globe and our responsibility to protect and safe-guard their survival. 

Now that we have a list of names to choose from, (we will be announcing the final three names soon) the final step is settling in on one name. For this, we will be enlisting the help of another group…but you’ll have to wait a few days to find out just who this group is.

So, stay tuned!