Baby gorilla is male, DNA tests reveal

Moja, photo: CTK

Now, there was great excitement when a baby gorilla was born in Prague Zoo exactly a year and a week ago today, the first time ever a gorilla was born in the Czech Republic. It's a girl, the zoo announced proudly, and gave the baby primate the Swahili name, Moja, meaning "the first".

Moja, photo: CTK
But when a couple of months ago a tabloid newspaper published close-up photos of little Moja's private parts - which looked distinctly male -questions were raised. Surely she couldn't, after all, be a he?

In order to clear up this gender confusion the zoo took samples of Moja's fur and saliva, which they sent to a DNA testing laboratory recommended by the Prague police. The results were made public on Monday, and - it's a boy!

Officials pointed out that the name Moja can be used by either males or females, so no name-change is required.

But the cute little gorilla isn't the only animal at Prague Zoo whose gender has been in doubt: keepers say they have no idea if a two-year-old bear called Bertik is a boy or a girl. They'll have to wait till it's older to find out if Bertik is really a Bertik, not a Betina.

However, unlike the little bear, Moja has come to the attention of the world's media in recent months. That's because he and four other gorillas "star" in an internet project in which they are followed around the clock by TV cameras. The project, a gentle parody of TV reality shows, is run by Czech Radio at www.rozhlas.cz/unmasking