N’djia’s Journey: A Celebration for Gorilla Conservation

EDUCATOR: You know, N’djia is pregnant. LEIGH ANN: I’m very excited for
the public to meet this baby, I mean not only because the Zoo hasn’t had a baby
in over 20 years and a lot of people have never even seen a gorilla baby.
But also just because on a large scale, you know, these animals are critically
endangered and every birth is a celebration, whether it’s in a zoo or in the
wild, and it gives us an opportunity to teach people about conservation. CANDACE SCLIMENTI: The gorilla Species Survival Plan, looking at the Los Angeles Zoo and our history with
gorillas and conservation of the species, selected N’djia to come and we’re
thrilled. We’re so excited. NANCY BUNN: By breeding them, we’re helping to maintain their
numbers. We want to ignite that passion, that interest in gorillas as a whole. CANDACE SCLIMENTI: Some of the threats that gorillas face in the wild are agriculture, viruses such
as ebola… They are very similar to humans in a lot of ways and so zoonotic
diseases can be a major problem, and the bushmeat trade, which is the illegal
hunting and killing of species for consumption, for their meat. The Los
Angeles Zoo participates in gorilla conservation in many ways, both in situ
conservation work through conservation grants, as well as in-kind work with
boots on the ground fieldwork at places such as the Gorilla Rehabilitation and
Conservation Education Center – GRACE – in the Democratic Republic of Congo and
also at various African sanctuaries that are under the PASA – Pan African Sanctuary Alliance – umbrella. NANCY BUNN: And we also have a recycling area for cell phones. CANDACE SCLIMENTI: It’s a simple thing to do, but it cuts down on mining and their critically depleted
land space. We’re really excited about N’djia being pregnant and a new
gorilla baby coming because what this birth means is additional attention to
this critically endangered species.

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