OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden say a western lowland gorilla has given birth.
The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/1btrSXe ) reports that the baby is the fifth birth for the 29-year-old gorilla, Emily. The baby is the second child for its father, Togo, since he arrived at the zoo in 2012. The baby gorilla hasn’t been named and keepers haven’t yet been able to determine its sex.
Zoo curator Laura Bottaro says Emily appears to be doing well and is attentive to her baby.
The latest addition of the gorilla troop joins Liam, who was born in 2013, and Kamina, who was moved to another zoo because her mother did not show parenting instincts.
“This birth is a positive addition to Emily and Togo’s troop and reinforces the zoo’s commitment to the conservation of this critically endangered species,” Oklahoma City Zoo Executive Director Dwight Lawson said. “It’s great for the Oklahoma City community to be a part of saving these animals.”
Western lowland gorillas, which are born after a 9-month gestation period, are an endangered species due to illegal hunting and habitat destruction.
The Oklahoma City Zoo participates in the Gorilla Species Survival Plan which is a management program designed to maintain genetically viable and geographically stable populations of specific species. The plan was developed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
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