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The Melbourne Zoo’s fresh-faced baby gorilla underwent a checkup in the hospital, throwing some attitude as it felt the chill from the stethoscope.

Yakini, a majestic silverback gorilla, was born via cesarean section at Melbourne Zoo in 1999, defying odds to survive several critical days in intensive care. His miraculous survival captured the hearts of people worldwide, and he has since become a beloved icon of the zoo.

Now a fully grown adult, Yakini celebrated his 24th birthday in 2023. To mark this special occasion, his keepers thoughtfully provided him with a feast of specially cut watermelons, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

While Yakini’s life has been marked by challenges, he has faced them with remarkable resilience. At the age of nine, he managed to escape his enclosure, prompting a temporary lockdown at the zoo. Thankfully, he was eventually located and safely reunited with his troop.

As a member of the critically endangered Western Lowland Gorilla species, Yakini plays a vital role in a global breeding program among zoos. This collaborative effort aims to conserve this precious species and ensure its survival for future generations.

Text credit: Earth Unreal

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