Visitors to Spain’s BIOPARC Valencia got the rare opportunity to witness the birth of a baby Gorilla on August 18.
With the entire Gorilla troop and numerous zoo guests looking on, female Gorilla Nalani calmly delivered her baby, consumed the placenta, and gently cleaned her newborn. Several guests filmed the event and posted the footage on YouTube.
Despite this being Nalani’s first baby, she did all the right things with her newborn. She had witnessed other births in the Gorilla troop and most likely learned from those experiences.
The zoo staff had chosen to allow the birth to occur without intervention, and the Gorillas now have free access to both indoor and outdoor shelters. Keepers will continue to monitor the group closely and provide the best conditions for the health of the mother and baby.
Births like this are managed by the European breeding program to maintain the highest level of genetic diversity in rare zoo animals. Gorillas are listed as Endangered due to poaching, human disturbance, invasive exotic species, human-wildlife disease transmission, timber extraction, and mining.
See more photos of mom and baby below.