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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No, I WON'T smile for you! The cute baby gorilla who thinks she’s a cheeky monkey

By Sara Malm

Being cute is all very well, but perhaps Atinbi the baby gorilla has had enough adulation for one day, sticking her tongue out at admirers at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon.

Many of the primates at the centre have been orphaned by poachers, but Atinbi was born there after her mother was given refuge.

A photographer managed to capture the adorable moment the baby gorilla stuck her tongue out.

Whether cheeky or just defiant, little Atinbi sure knows how to get all the attention on her.

She is one of 167 primates at the Limbe Wildlife Centre where many of the lowland gorillas are orphans rescued after their parents have been shot.

Atinbi is one of the lucky ones – born at the centre to her rescued mother she has not suffered the same horrible fate as many of her playmates.

Little Atinbi’s name means replacement in the local Bakweri language.

It was given to her in memory of two other gorillas killed by poachers.

The staff at the Limbe Wildlife Centre hope she will be a symbol replacing the sad stories of killed gorillas with hope from the new arrivals.

Photographer Petr Slavik, 44, took this heart-warming image while on an expedition sanctioned by the Zoo of Prague to take much needed supplies to help the native guards at the Dja Biospheric Reservation.

He said Atinbi sticking out her tongue was just one of many happy moments he was able to capture on his camera.

He said: ‘I had a chance to observe how gently she was treated by her mother.

‘I have to admit there were moments when I forgot to take pictures because I was so fascinated with how they were together.

Mother's love: Atinbi is being cuddled by her mother who keeps a watchful eye on the photographer

Hiding behind the safety of her mother's feet, Atinbi gazes at the photographer with big brown eyes

Tender love: These amazing pictures show Atinbi's unnamed mother caring for her baby. Atinbi is lucky - most of the gorilla's at the wildlife centre are orphaned after their parents are killed by hunters

‘Her name was given in memory of the two gorillas who died in 2008

‘These are the moments which will make you smile and rush tears in your eyes when you observe the animals.

‘Hopefully, the little Atinbi is the symbol of brighter future of gorillas in Cameroon.’

The name Atinbi means 'Replacement' in the local language and was given to the little baby girl after two gorillas who died in 2008



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