Saambili, the Western lowland gorilla, is celebrating her first birthday at the Dallas Zoo.
No birthday is complete without cake and a party! So the zoo said she enjoyed a nice day with her troop and had fruit and veggie cake with ice treats.
Saambili is the zoo’s first baby gorilla born in 20 years. She is the half-sister of another baby gorilla that currently calls Dallas Zoo home.
Saambili weighs 18 pounds and zoo officials say she is starting to make gorilla vocalizations, making happy sounds while she eats, even beating her chest like the adults in the habitat.
While little Saambili is cute, the zoo said they want to reiterate how important she is for the future.
"She’s grown into an incredible ambassador for the critically endangered species, connecting children and adults to these majestic apes and inspiring people to protect animals everywhere," said Dallas Zoo Communications Manager Lydia Stubbs.
Stubbs said in a written statement that the zoo is also encouraging people to celebrate Saambili’s birthday by recycling your old cell phone at the Dallas Zoo. They say one of the worst threats facing gorillas in Africa right now is the loss of their habitat from mining coltan, a mineral commonly used in cell phones and other electronics.
Learn more about which electronics the zoo is accepting here.