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Boy oh Boy! Baby Gorilla Born at Columbus Zoo

Gor mouth

There's a lot of excitement at Ohio's Columbus Zoo over a brand new baby Gorilla, born on May 23, to Gorilla parents Kambera and  Oliver. The little one arrived at  at 3:22 a.m., weighing 5 pounds, a healthy weight for a newborn Gorilla. And it's a boy!

Kambera, being a first-time mom, displayed a lack of maternal skills, so the zoo's animal care experts are raising him in an environment that provides around-the-clock care and nurturing. They spend a significant amount of time close to Kambera with the hope of being able to reunite the baby with her in the near future. The baby has clearly done very well and is bright-eyed, healthy and energetic. Visitors can now see him daily from noon to 3 p.m. in the indoor Gorilla yard.

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Photo Credit: Columbus Zoo

Gorillas live in moist tropical forests, or along the edge of forests, near clearings with an abundance of low, edible vegetation. Mountain gorillas range up into cloud forests.

Female gorillas reach maturity at seven or eight years old, but they usually don't breed until they reach ten plus years. Wild males tend to not breed before they are 15 years old, because there is greater competition between males to get with females.  Gestation is close to human timing, taking about about eight and a half months, usually resulting in one baby. Babies can begin to walk around within three to six months, but take up until about three years old to be fully weaned. Zoo Gorillas may reach sexual maturity earlier, and have babies more often than they do in the wild.

Gorillas also tend to live much longer in zoos -- up to their mid-fifties compared to the mid-thirties in the wild. Western Lowland and Cross River Gorillas are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Eastern Lowland and Mountain Gorillas are listed as Endangered on the Red List.