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Cleveland Metroparks Zoo announces baby gorilla's name: Kayembe

Guests can visit Kayembe and the gorilla troop at the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

CLEVELAND — The baby gorilla that was recently born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo now has his name.

Kayembe, which means “extraordinary,” was selected following a three-week naming campaign that generated more than 600 donations worth nearly $15,000 for the Fossey Fund in Rwanda.

“Kayembe has captured the hearts of so many with his extraordinary birth and story,” said Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Executive Director Dr. Chris Kuhar. “The naming opportunity with CrossCountry Mortgage was our most popular naming campaign yet and will support critical conservation of this iconic species.”

RELATED: WATCH: Baby gorilla at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo crawls for first time

His birth on Oct. 26 made history as Kayembe became the first gorilla ever born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

“At nearly four months old, Kayembe continues to be in nearly constant contact with surrogate mom, Freddy,” Cleveland Zoo officials said Thursday morning. “He recently reached a new developmental milestone when he began crawling and exploring his habitat within a few feet of mom.”

Guests can visit Kayembe and the gorilla troop at the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The other naming options that were up for the vote included:

  • Bakari: “One who will succeed”
  • Jabari: “Fearless or brave one”

"Each of the names reflect and celebrate words from a range of languages spoken across west and central Africa where the few remaining gorilla populations live and celebrate the strength the baby has displayed already in his first few months," Cleveland Zoo officials said when launching the naming vote last month.

RELATED: It's a boy! Cleveland Metroparks Zoo witnesses birth of first baby gorilla in its 139-year history

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published on Nov. 4, 2021.

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