Zoo News

Sep 06, 2013

Meet our latest addition!!

The Buffalo Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla.
The baby was born on Wednesday, September 4 at 12:44 p.m. to first-time mother, 12-year-old Lily, and father, 26-year-old Koga. Lily has displayed strong maternal instincts and is taking great care of the troop’s latest addition. Keepers have not been able to get close enough to the baby to determine its gender, though they believe it is a girl. Both mother and baby are doing well.

Photos by Kelly Brown – Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

During Lily’s pregnancy, the keeper staff at the Buffalo Zoo was able to monitor the baby’s growth using ultrasound technology. Lily had been trained to present her abdomen to keepers and remain calm during the ultrasound process, so she did not need to be anesthetized in order to obtain images of the fetus. The team worked with Bridget Gilewski, RT, RDMS of Baby’s Bungalow in North Tonawanda, who volunteered to assist with the ultrasound readings. The Buffalo Zoo is one of the only zoos to have successfully measured the development of a western lowland gorilla in utero. Their research is important to the study and husbandry of gorillas.
The baby will join the gorilla troop, including her parents as well as females Sydney and Amari, in their exhibit daily. During this sensitive time, the gorillas will be given access to their interior holding areas, should they desire more privacy. Visitors are advised that the gorillas may not always be visible, but are encouraged to check back often!
The gestation period of gorillas is eight and a half months. Gorillas begin walking when they are between three and six months of age, and are weaned around three years of age.

Western lowland gorillas are found in the lowland tropical forests of central Africa. The species is critically endangered due to loss of habitat as well as the bush meat trade. 

Photos by Kelly Brown – Registrar, Buffalo Zoo

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