On October 11, a healthy baby Western Lowland Gorilla was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo – an important addition to this critically endangered species.
The baby has yet to be sexed or named and appears to be doing well. Mother Bana, 17, is showing appropriate maternal instincts, while dad Kwan, a 23-year-old silverback, is watchful over the mom and baby pair.
The new baby joins a troop of six individuals, all of whom are curious about the new arrival but maintaining a respectful distance as Bana and her offspring bond. According to animal care staff, the new mom is already establishing routines.
“Bana has been nesting in a quiet corner of the enclosure where she can nurture her infant,” said Leahy. “The baby is nursing regularly and demonstrating positive behaviors like reaching and gripping tightly.”
Zookeepers and vets will closely monitor Bana and her baby to ensure they continue to do well, as the first few weeks are critical in the survival of newborn Gorillas.
This Gorilla birth is the 51st in Lincoln Park Zoo’s
proud history working with the species. It came about thanks to a recommendation
from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos
throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
It provides a welcome boost for a species that’s critically endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. In addition to work at the zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo also conserves Gorillas in the wild through the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.
Photo Credits: Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo (top), Tony Gnau/Lincoln Park Zoo