Kudzoo, a 17-year-old female western lowland gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to an infant in the early morning hours of May 9, 2011. This is the second offspring for Mom Kudzoo and 21-year-old Dad Taz.
Western lowland gorillas live in the rainforests of equatorial Africa. A larger group of western lowland gorillas were discovered in 2007 in northern regions of the Republic of Congo. While these new groups provide new hopes for the future of the species, they remain critically endangered, with their numbers in continual decline because of poaching, habitat destruction, and disease.
Zoo Atlanta is home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas, now with 24 individuals living in distinct social groups. The Zoo is a recognized center of excellence for the care and research of these critically endangered great apes. Since 1988, 19 gorillas have been born at Zoo Atlanta, 17 of whom still live on grounds!
“I’ve known Kudzoo since the day she was born, so it’s especially rewarding to see her raising offspring of her own,” said Curator of Primates Charles Horton, who worked with Willie B. for most of the silverback’s life and became his closest human companion. “She’s a great mom just like her mother Choomba was, and it’s a special experience, watching a new generation grow up.”