It’s always an exciting day for a zoo when an animal gives birth, bringing a new adorable baby into the world.
This week one zoo is celebrating the birth of a precious girl gorilla who winning hearts everywhere with her cuteness.
The infant western lowland gorilla was born on January 29 at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the second child of 24-year-old mama gorilla Nadiri. It’s also the first child of Nadiri’s mate, Kwame.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the newest member of our western lowland gorilla family,” the Woodland Park Zoo announced on their blog.
“The baby’s vital signs are good and she’s healthy and physically normal,” said Dr. Darin Collins, director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo. “The newborn weighs 4.9 pounds. The average weight for a gorilla at birth is 4 pounds, so she’s within the norm.”
While the baby was born healthy, the zoo ran into one issue: Nadiri hasn’t immediately bonded with her new child.
“While Nadiri periodically touched her baby just after giving birth, she never picked up her newborn the first day,” the zoo’s mammal curator Martin Ramirez said. “It was necessary for us to intervene for the baby’s well-being.”
Since Nadiri isn’t nursing her newborn, zookeepers are preparing to bottle-feed the gorilla around the clock until the mom shows interest. They’re “encouraging maternal behaviors” in Nadiri, hoping she will raise her child.
Despite that setback, the zoo is optimistic about the baby gorilla’s future. They are looking forward to seeing “playful and mischievous antics” in the next few years as the zoo’s three young gorillas grow up.
But the western lowland gorilla is also listed as a “critically endangered” species. The zoo’s gorilla habitat aims to help breed and repopulate the species into a diverse and self-sustaining population. Nadiri and Kwame were mated under the Gorilla Species Survival Plan.
“Bringing a baby gorilla into the world is always exciting not only for us here at the zoo, but also the community as a whole,” Ramirez said. “Each new gorilla is a symbol of hope for their cousins in the wild, for the forests they live in and for our planet.”
“Growing our gorilla family of different generations and ages creates more opportunities for the zoo to engage the community in taking important action to preserve gorillas into the future.”
Welcome to the world, little one! We can’t wait to see you grow up and help bring awareness to this critically endangered species.
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