It’s another girl for Western Lowland Gorillas Kiki and Kitombe! The baby, born November 3 inside Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest, received her first well-baby examination by the Zoo’s veterinary staff this morning at which time her gender was confirmed. During the examination, the baby was separated from her mother so the veterinary staff could weigh her and draw blood. The baby weighs 6.6 pounds and measures 18 inches long.
“The examination went very well. The baby is very alert and appears healthy and strong,” said Dr. Eric Baitchman, Zoo New England Director of Veterinary Services. “While we will continue to closely monitor the baby’s development, we are happy with her progress so far. Kiki is an excellent mother with a lot of experience and she is doing everything a gorilla mother should.”
Franklin Park Zoo is home to eight Western Lowland Gorillas, including the baby, and all reside inside the Tropical Forest. ZNE is an active participant in the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species, like these critically endangered Gorillas. Kiki’s pregnancy was the result of a recommended breeding by the SSP.