Community asked to help name Cheyenne Mountain Zoo baby gorilla

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo keepers are taking suggestions to name the zoo’s newest baby gorilla.

The baby boy was born Aug. 14.

“It’s CMZ tradition to name babies after they are 30 days old, and we are looking for the community’s help to find the perfect name for our newest gorilla troop member,” said Dina Bredahl, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo animal care manager.

Submit name ideas on the zoo’s website  now through Sept. 20. In order to be considered, all name submissions should be respectful and meaningful. A brief description of why the name was chosen is also preferred.

The top three names will be announced on Sept. 21and voting will begin in the CMZ primate building from Sept. 22th to Oct. 5. The winner of the naming contest will be given a one year family membership to the zoo.

The baby gorilla was born to mother Asha and father Rafiki and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo officials say his birth is a great success because western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered. The baby already is impressing both zoo keepers and guests by riding on his mothers back — a behavior not typically seen at only a few weeks of age.