Taali the gorilla
The Aspinall Foundation made conservation history when the world’s first baby western lowland gorilla to be born in the wild to two captive-born parents arrived in June 2021. The infant, a beautiful female, was born in June 2021 in the Batéké Plateau National Park, to mother Mayombe and father Djongo. The infant was aptly named Taàli – meaning ‘hope’ in Batéké.
The Aspinall Foundation’s Gorilla Protection Project works with the governments of Congo-Brazzaville and the neighbouring state of Gabon to protect roughly 1,000,000 acres of prime gorilla habitat in the unique savannah ecosystem of Batéké Plateau, where they have released more than 70 western lowland gorillas so far. The Aspinall Foundation team are hopeful that Taali will be the first of many wild-borns to captive-born parents at their project, supporting the restoration of this previously eradicated species to the region.
The latest observations from The Aspinall Foundation’s team out in Gabon report that Taàli and her parents are doing very well. The small family is maintaining a very calm behaviour, with a closer and stronger relationship between Mayombe and Djongo seen on numerous camera trap videos, which are regularly posted on the Foundation’s social media accounts. The two adult gorillas follow each other’s movements and always try to stay within sight of each other.
Little Taali continues to be very curious about the world around her, absorbed by the spectacular surroundings. Riding around on her mum’s back, she is very inquisitive, grabbing branches and leaves as the family explore this unique ecosystem. She has recently been taking her first steps on her own under Mayombe’s supervision, collecting food from the ground to carry on Mayombe’s back to consume there. Like her dad, she loves her food and continues to explore the different edible young leaves and stems growing in the vast canopy forests.