A first birthday, in fact.
But this isn’t a person. The birthday belongs to Hasani, a one-year old gorilla at San Francisco zoo.
Spurned by his natural mother, Hasani was given to a surrogate mother, Bawang, to be raised.
He is one of only four gorillas to be born in North America within the last year and after being rejected by his mom, he was raised, fed, played with and diapered by the zoo staff.
He will actually be bottle fed until he is five years old.
Dad is around, that’s true, but he won’t be particularly involved in the bringing up his son– male parenting isn’t big in the gorilla world.
So after what had to be a clever bit of “gorilla marketing” by the zoo keepers, it was Bawang, another female gorilla, who was finally chosen to be the surrogate mother for the youngster.
She’d always shown the most interest in him, when his nursery was placed next to the gorilla enclosure.
This cute one year old is extra special because he is an endangered western lowland baby gorilla, one that the zoo is delighted to have.
The zoo was just as delighted to help the cutie celebrate his birthday.
He was joined for his special day by zoo members and children who participated in the festivities by eating cupcakes and wearing birthday hats.
Hasani’s name was chosen after more than 5,000 entries were received by the zoo in a naming competition. Hasani means “handsome”.
And handsome is a very fitting name for this adorable little guy we hope will have many more birthdays to come.
If you’re traveling to the San Francisco area, be sure to make a visit to the zoo.
For more information, see the zoo’s website.