L.A. Zoo’s New Baby Gorilla Has a Name Fit for an Angeleno

The zoo’s new resident honors a donor’s late daughter

The adorable western lowland gorilla born at the Los Angeles Zoo last month (the first in 20 years!) now has a name: Angela. “The L.A. Zoo is very fortunate to have had a longtime donor name the gorilla baby after his daughter, Angela,” says Beth Schaefer, director of animal programs at the L.A. Zoo. “We think the name is perfect considering this girl was born here in Los Angeles, which naturally makes her a proud Angeleno.”

The donor is Basil Collier, art dealer and director of the Angela Collier Foundation in Encino. Collier has been a longtime supporter of the zoo and donated more than $200,000 towards the zoo’s World of Birds show theater, also named after his late daughter. Donors occasionally name animals, other times the animal keepers come up with a moniker, and occasionally the zoo creates a naming contest that the public can participate in.

Angela’s species is native to the lowlands and swamp forests of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Angola. Poachers, the Ebola virus, and humans hunting them for food threaten their population in the wild.

The Los Angeles Zoo is now home to five western lowland gorillas (scientific name Gorilla gorilla gorilla): Angela, her mom N’djia, dad Kelly, and companions Rapunzel and Evelyn. You can visit them in the Campo Gorilla Reserve at the Los Angeles Zoo.

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