Rare lowland gorilla born at Illinois zoo
Chicago, IL, United States (4E) – Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo has announced Tuesday the birth of a western lowland gorilla, a breed considered critically endangered.
Zoo officials said that the unnamed gorilla baby, born on October 11, is doing well. Its sex has not been determined.
According to a zoo release, the 17-year-old gorilla mother, Bana, is displaying the proper maternal instincts while the father, 23-year-old silverback Kwan, is keeping a watchful eye on his family.
The zoo’s Curator of Primates, Maureen Leahy, said that “we are cautiously optimistic about the new arrival. So far, Bana and the baby are showing all the signs of a happy, healthy mom-and-baby pair.”
She added that the gorilla mother has been nesting in a quiet corner of the enclosure where she can nurture her infant, and the baby gorilla is nursing regularly and displaying positive behaviors like reaching and gripping tightly.
Officials said that western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in their native central Africa due to habitat loss and poaching.
Zoo visitors can go to the Regenstein Center for African Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo to see Bana and her baby from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.