Gorilla to celebrate birthday at Prague Zoo

Kamba will turn 45 years old and get presents on Jan. 29

The Prague Zoo will celebrate the 45th birthday of Kamba, a female lowland gorilla who was born in the wild and had been in captivity in Germany, Poland, and Dvůr Králové before coming to Prague.

Kamba will get birthday gifts at 2 pm on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the gorilla pavilion. There will be quizzes at the pavilion from 10 am to 3 pm and those who answer all the questions correctly will win prizes.

Kamba's exact birthday is not known because she was found by poachers who attempted to sell her on the black market.

Earlier the same day, at 11 am, an exhibition of photos about the Gobi desert in winter opens at the Mongolian yurt. The photos are by Miroslav Bobek and Václav Šilha, and the exhibition will be opened by journalist Lenka Klicperová.

At the zoo, Kamba plays the role of an aunt to the younger gorillas and helps to take care of baby Ajabu, who was born unexpectedly on April 23, 2016. Kamba does not have her own offspring. She miscarried a decade ago after a difficult labor.

In 2016, the zoo celebrated its best year in terms of visitors, with 1,448,353. It also had several significant births including, aside from the unexpected gorilla, two baby elephants and other species including an aardvark, giraffe, a viper, a rare giant rat and a rare African openbill. The zoo saw a total of 1,191 juveniles in 223 species. The zoo also has been drawing crowds to see a rare breed of lion that it acquired at the end of 2015.

Among the celebrity visitors in 2016 was Dr. Jane Goodall, who has dedicated her life to primates.

The zoo was also active in returning animals to the wild, sending Przewalski wild horses to a preservation area in Mongolia. The zoo has long been active in preserving this endangered species.

In March 2016, snow damaged an aviary, and 18 Northern Bald Ibises escaped. With the help of the public and social media, all of them were safely returned home. Some got rather far, while others made only a few streets away.

Prague Zoo has been rated as the fourth-best zoo in world by users of the website TripAdvisor. Prague Zoo opened in 1931. It currently covers 58 hectares with 50 hectares used for exhibits. It has over 4,700 animals from 681 species, including 144 species listed as threatened. The zoo has 12 pavilions and over 150 exhibits.

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