Jersey

Twin gorilla babies born at Durrell Wildlife Park die

Gorilla and mum Image copyright Charlie Wylie
Image caption Gorilla mothers will hold on to dead infants for some time as part of the grieving process

Twin gorillas that were born at Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey died within 72 hours of each other, it has emerged.

Kahilli gave birth last Tuesday but the first twin died the next day and the second, initially thought to be doing well, died on Saturday night.

Head of Mammals Dominic Wormell, said the gorillas were all grieving.

"Kahilli still has the dead baby with her - it is normal for gorillas to carry an infant that has died for some time," he said.

The second infant was initially thought to have been doing well but survived for just three days after the first death.

Image copyright Charlie Wylie
Image caption The second twin died overnight into Sunday morning

Mr Wormell said he was confident Kahilli would go on to have other births.

"We will retrieve the tiny body at the appropriate time, but we feel it is important for Kahilli to have the chance to grieve for her loss," he said.

"We know that Kahilli is a great mother and Badongo is a gentle and caring father, and we are confident there will be successful births in the future."

The twins would have been the second and third born to silverback Badongo and Kahilli. Their previous child, Indigo, was born in September 2012.

Western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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