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Your morning adorable: Baby western lowland gorilla at the National Zoo

August 14, 2009 | 12:00 pm

Baby western lowland gorilla Kibibi

Although little Kibibi, a 7-month-old western lowland gorilla, will continue nursing for another few years, she recently began experimenting with solid food. Keepers at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., home to Kibibi and her mother, Mandara, say her favorite snacks so far are cherry tomatoes. (By the looks of it, though, she's willing to try just about anything -- even a leaf.)

Zoo staff describe Mandara as a "supermom"; prior to Kibibi, she'd successfully raised five biological offspring and one adopted son. Lately, one of Mandara's older offspring, a juvenile male named Kojo, has been pitching in to take care of Kibibi. "He is often seen late in the day, after his family has settled down for the night, carrying his sister around from enclosure to enclosure far beyond the reach of Mandara," a keeper wrote on the zoo's website.

Western lowland gorillas are native to the rain forests of central and western African nations including Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  They're endangered, due mainly to deforestation and poaching. Mood-lightening fun fact: The scientific name for the western lowland gorilla is gorilla gorilla gorilla

More photos of Kibibi and Mandara after the jump.

Baby western lowland gorilla Kibibi

Baby western lowland gorilla Kibibi

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photos: Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images

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