Gorilla Baby Book
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On Valentine's Day, a date traditionally set aside to celebrate love, it seemed an appropriate time for the North Carolina Zoo to announce that the third of its female gorillas is expecting a baby in early summer. If successful, it will mean all three female gorillas will have given birth at the State Zoo in less than a year.
Having seen two gorillas born over a four-week period in August 2012--a rare occurrence for any zoo--the N.C. Zoo's 18-year-old female gorilla, "Acacia," is expected to also give birth between mid-June and late-July. Zookeepers say several recent positive pregnancy tests have confirmed the pending birth. In all three cases, the father is "Nkosi," a 22-year-old male who arrived at the N.C. Zoo from the Columbus Zoo in March 2008.
It took the North Carolina Zoo 23 years to have its second baby gorilla, but less than four weeks to produce number three.
Olympia, a female born in 1996, gave birth around 7 p.m., Friday, August 31, to a four-pound male baby. The infant went on exhibit with its mother the following day. This infant has been named Apollo. The North Carolina Zoological Society is seeking a sponsor to help pay for a shelter structure at the Gorilla Exhibit. The structure would provide shade for both the gorillas and visitors in summer and a heated area for the gorillas in cold weather.
Another healthy male gorilla was born at the North Carolina Zoo August 4 at about 8 a.m. The birth is only the second gorilla born at the N.C. Zoo and the first since the zoo’s first baby gorilla, Kwanza, was born in March 1989. Zoo keepers have named the baby Bomassa. See the latest photos of Bomassa.
The father of both infants is Nkosi who arrived from the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo in March 2008.
Both mothers and infants will have access to the Forest Glade exhibit but may not be visible at all times.
Currently there are only about 350 gorillas in 52 AZA-accredited zoos with just four successful births out of eight pregnancies recordedduring 2011 and early 2012.
Most people will never get to see a gorilla in the wild. Seeing them in captivity allows people to appreciate how amazing they are and hopefully recognize how threatened they are in the wild. The North Carolina Zoo's field conservation program includes extensive work to preserve the Cross River Gorilla in Nigeria.
The North Carolina Zoo Gorilla Guide has information about the Zoo's collection of gorillas.