Endangered gorilla born at Lincoln Park Zoo

A Western lowland gorilla has been born at Lincoln Park Zoo, the first of the endangered species born there since 2005, and will be introduced to the public Tuesday, the zoo announced today.

The female gorilla, who has not yet been named, was born Nov. 16. According to an e-mail release from the zoo, the newborn "appears to be doing well" with her mother Bana, a 16-year-old gorilla who gave birth for the first time.

The father, a 22-year-old silverback gorilla, "seems proud of his new offspring and has stayed protectively close to mother and baby," the release said.

The zoo's Regenstein Center for African Apes has been closed to the public since the newborn's birth, allowing the gorillas an opportunity to adjust to the new arrival and letting zoo personnel study the mother and infant to "ensure appropriate caretaking." The building will re-open to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

"Bana has taken very well to motherhood," said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy in a press release. "She is showing all of the signs of a doting new mom and is appropriately tender toward and watchful over her infant."

Bana was born at Brookfield Zoo in 1995 and came to the Lincoln Park Zoo in 2010, according to the zoo, which has a group of seven gorrillas.

The newborn gorilla is the 49th gorilla born at Lincoln Park Zoo since 1970, according to the release.

According to the zoo, Western lowland gorillas are "critically endangered" in their native Central Africa because of poaching and habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo is one of a number of zoos participating in a Species Protection Plan for the apes. There are approximately 340 other goriilas in the program.


Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World