The youngest gorilla at Zoo Atlanta has a name. The female infant born to Sukari on Aug. 30 has been named Anaka.
Christina Carlos, daughter of Atlantans Chris and Merry Carlos, had the honor of naming the 3-month-old infant. Chris Carlos, a generous longtime supporter of Zoo Atlanta, presented his daughter with the naming opportunity as a gift for her recent birthday.
Anaka is the 21st gorilla born in the zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest since 1988, and is one of two gorilla infants born at the zoo in 2013. She and her older half-sister, Andi, born in March, are the fifth and sixth surviving grandchildren of the legendary late Willie B.
“We’re delighted to have a name to put with this special little face,” Raymond B. King, president and CEO, said. “We’re also excited to have been able to confer this naming opportunity to friends who have been such advocates for the zoo. Chris Carlos and his family are avid lovers of wildlife, and their record of support for the zoo is an exemplary example of the consistent dedication that keeps the Zoo Atlanta family strong year after year.”
Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas, which are now classified as critically endangered. Habitat loss and poaching have decimated wild populations by as much as 95 percent over the past two decades. Zoo Atlanta is a national center of excellence for the care and study of gorillas, with more than 120 published research papers authored or co-authored by Zoo Atlanta staff. In 2011, Zoo Atlanta received the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Edward H. Bean Award for Scientific Achievement in recognition of its long-term commitment to the species.
Anaka, who is the second offspring for Sukari and 24-year-old silverback Taz, can be seen on exhibit with her family in the Ford African Rain Forest, weather permitting.