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Gorilla's First Birthday Celebrated at San Diego Zoo

critically endangered animals, San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Monroe, a one-year-old western lowland gorilla, inspects his birthday cake. (Image credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

Monroe, a western lowland gorilla, inspects his birthday "cake" in this photo taken last week at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The cake is made of ice with pieces of fruits and vegetables frozen inside, with a candle carved out of a carrot.   The Safari Park will hosted a "birthday party" each day last weekend to celebrate the youngest member of the six-gorilla troop, who was born June 17, 2011.   Monroe is walking on his own and is a very active and curious gorilla, according to a zoo statement. He is expected to nurse until he is three years old but is also given the same food items as the rest of the troop, just in smaller pieces.   Monroe was the first gorilla born at the Safari Park since 2001. His mother is Kokamo and his father is Winston. Western gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Live Science Staff
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