Lincoln Park Zoo’s Western Lowland Gorilla troop welcomed another new face on June 12 at Regenstein Center for African Apes! Bana, 24, gave birth to a healthy infant, exactly one month after the arrival of a male infant that was born to mom, Rollie, on May 12.
The baby is staying tucked in close and clinging to mom, Bana, and has begun nursing. The infant is the second offspring for Bana, who gave birth to a female, named Patty, in 2012. Kwan, 30, the silverback of the family group, continues to closely watch Bana and the infant.
“As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival. Bana is an experienced mother who is displaying appropriate maternal skills and care,” said Curator of Primates, Jill Moyse.
The unsexed newborn joins a troop of eight individuals, including adult females, Bahati and Rollie, three juvenile females (Bella, Nayembi, and Patty), and the recent male infant. Both gorilla infants have yet to be named.
“Having two offspring born close together provides such an exciting time for guests and gorillas alike,” said Moyse. “The infants will have the opportunity to grow, develop, and explore their surroundings together and learn from one another.”
Animal Care staff will closely monitor Bana and the infant as they continue to surpass critical milestones. Kwan and Bana were recommended to breed as a part of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative effort among zoos accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Western Lowland Gorillas are classified by the IUCN as “Critically Endangered”, in their native Central Africa, due to habitat loss and poaching. Scientists with Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes are dedicated to saving this species with ongoing work both at the zoo and in the Republic of the Congo. This work has facilitated new strategies to mitigate the impact of human and consumer behaviors such as unsustainable logging and urbanization.
For more information about Lincoln Park Zoo’s ape conservation efforts and Western Lowland Gorillas, visit www.lpzoo.org . Those interested in helping care for mom and baby all year long may ADOPT a gorilla at www.lpzoo.org/adopt .