There’s a new baby western lowland gorilla at the Toronto Zoo.
We don’t know the baby’s gender, because it’s a brand new little one, having just been born last Thursday morning. But mommy and baby gorilla are doing just fine, according to Toronto Zoo staff, and we’ll get a good look at that baby just as soon as mom is done cuddling the ever-loving stuffing out of it.
Ngozi, one of the Toronto Zoo’s two resident female gorillas, had a healthy baby gorilla early in the morning on June 7th. This is Ngozi’s third child, all three of which were born at the Toronto Zoo. Her first baby, named Nassir, was born September 2nd, 2009, while daughter Nneka was born January 10th, 2014. Both are still at the Toronto Zoo.
We are excited to announce that Ngozi gave birth early this morning. Both mom and baby are both healthy and doing well, and Wildlife Care Staff will continue to monitor their development. At this time, we cannot determine the sex of the baby as it remains close to mom. 🦍 pic.twitter.com/grqgzZoBn4— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) June 7, 2018
The father, named Charles, is the Toronto Zoo’s resident silverback male. At 46 years old, he’s sired 11 baby gorillas at the zoo. Gorillas can typically live up to 50 years in captivity, although it’s not unheard of for gorillas to achieve the ripe old age of 60. There are still quite a few breeding years in Charles yet.
As western lowland gorillas are critically endangered, the Toronto Zoo is incredibly pleased with their latest addition. “We are very excited with this birth,” said Maria Franke, the zoo’s curator of mammals. “Gorillas are under extreme threats in the wild including poaching, disease, and habitat loss. It is predicted that the wild population will have an 80% reduction over three generations and it is essential that we educate the public and do everything we can to save this critically endangered species.”
You may catch a glimpse of Ngozi and her newborn in the African Rainforest pavilion, however we ask that visitors keep their voices down during this sensitive time. Please note there is no confirmed viewing schedule. 🦍 pic.twitter.com/nv83YaNEp5— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) June 7, 2018
The Toronto Zoo has 8 gorillas in total: Charles and Ngozi, another female named Josephine, four youngsters, Sadiki (age 13), Johari (age 17), Nassir (age 9), Nneka (age 4), and Ngozi’s newborn baby. Female gorillas can bear children as young as eight years old, but typically wait until 10 before breeding.
Western lowland gorillas are typically found in the rainforests of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Gabon.
The Toronto Zoo is one of only a few zoos in the world with successful breeding programs for gorillas.
We wish this mama and baby the best of luck, and cannot wait to see more photos of the little one!