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What a cutie! Western lowland gorilla Hasani – who entered the world on December 8, 2008 – gets a helping hand from San Francisco Zoo caretakers. His birth was a milestone for the zoo: He was the first gorilla to be born there in a decade.
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Tired? Hungry? Hasani looks every bit the typical infant as he lets out a cry. Though his birth had no complications, the little guy had a tough start: Hasani’s mom, Monifa, was not ready for motherhood, and left her baby alone in her nest until zoo workers intervened.
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CATCHING HIS ZZZS
A snoozing Hasani snuggles up to a fuzzy blanket in the “backstage” nursery at the zoo, which was devised by caretakers after Hasani’s mother rejected him. This allowed the infant to see the other gorillas and feel like he’s part of the troop.
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Yum! Little Hasani sips some milk as handlers dote on him at mealtime. Though mama gorillas generally breastfeed their young, Hasani’s separation from his mom meant he’d have to be bottle-fed for a while. Still, he eats like a champ!
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Love those adorable sheets! Hasani gets lost in dreamland during a nap in his nursery. He must get tired: Each day, zoo caretakers help him with exercises to build his strength.
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RINGS 'N' THINGS
Polishing up his mechanical skills, Hasani reaches for a ring during a play session at the zoo. Fans of the baby gorilla can buy more playthings and medical products on his registry, sponsored by zoo staffers.
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Yawn! Hasani shows his exhaustion – or maybe lets out a yelp! – in the arms of a handler. As he grew, caretakers began training another female gorilla, Bawang, as a surrogate mother for the little guy.
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Such a smartie! Hasani recognizes himself onscreen from “backstage” at the zoo. To choose the baby’s name, the zoo sponsored a naming contest, asking fans from around the world to submit ideas. More than 5,000 entries were received!
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How’s the weather? Hasani surveys the great outdoors at the zoo’s Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. The area is designed to feel like home for western lowland gorillas, and encompasses an acre full of trees, grasses and rocks.
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GETTING HIS GREENS
Nom nom! Chowing down on broccoli, Hasani enjoys a snack in his nursery. Though he’s separated from the other gorillas through mesh netting, surrogate mom Bawang still learned to be gentle toward him, stroking his head and passing stuffed animals through his barrier.
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Which gorilla is which? Without other gorillas to interact with in the nursery, Hasani cuddles up to two stuffed animals for a snooze. Luckily, the baby and Bawang were finally introduced face-to-face on April 28 – with wonderful results!
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Whatcha lookin’ at? Hasani prepares for his close-up backstage at the zoo. He didn’t have to hide for too long – the 7-month-old made his public debut on June 5.
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BIG AND TALL
Such a big boy! Clinging to his “No Girls Allowed” fort, Hasani stands tall and proud in the nursery. On June 23, he was introduced to his dad, Oscar Jonesy, and the two got along well – thanks to some motherly meddling from Bawang.