When zoo keepers entered the Gorilla House at the Netherlands’ Burgers’ Zoo
on June 13, they were taken by surprise: N’Gayla, the 20-year-old female Gorilla, had delivered twin babies overnight!
Keepers knew that N’Gayla was pregnant, but they were not expecting her to deliver until later in the summer, and they were certainly not expecting twins. Gorillas normally have just one baby at a time. Twins in Gorillas are much rarer than in humans.
Surprised keeper Wilco Limpers explained what he saw that morning. “At first I did not expect to see twins. I was watching N’Gayla lick her baby clean, and suddenly she grabbed something from within the straw bedding – another baby Gorilla! I really did not know what I saw. Gorilla twins are seen only once or twice every ten years in European zoos.”
Baby Gorillas are small and helpless, requiring round-the-clock care from their mothers. Though N’Gayla has her hands full, she is an experienced mother who has already raised three youngsters successfully. The twins’ father, 23-year-old Bauwi, will play only a minor role in their care.