Lincoln Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a healthy female Western Lowland Gorilla, born on February 24, 2015.
Photo and Video Credits: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo
The baby, named ‘Bella’, is staying tucked close to her mother and appears to be doing well. Gorilla mom, ‘Bahati’, age 27, is experiencing motherhood for the third time. Her last pregnancy occurred in 2004, and her two adult offspring now reside in other Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos. ‘Kwan’, age 25, the new infant’s father, and silverback of the family group, continues to keep a watchful eye on mom and baby.
“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival. Bahati is an experienced mother whose maternal instincts are what we would hope to see with a newborn gorilla,” said Maureen Leahy, Curator of Primates.
The new baby joins a troop of six individuals, including two-year-old half-sisters ‘Nayembi’ and ‘Patty’ who were born at Lincoln Park Zoo in fall 2012.
“It’s really amazing to see this family group grow and adapt,” said Leahy. “Between the family group and bachelor troop, the gorillas at Regenstein Center for African Apes are a great representation of the species from newborn baby to fully mature silverback and several stages in-between.”
Kwan and Bahati were recommended to breed as a part of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP).