A gorilla was born at the Los Angeles Zoo this weekend, the first such birth in more than 20 years, officials announced.
N’djia, a 25-year-old endangered western lowland gorilla, gave birth early Saturday. The mother and her infant spent their first day together bonding privately, zoo officials said.
The gorilla birth is the first at the L.A. Zoo since that of Hope in January 1996. Hope was moved to the zoo in Albuquerque in April 1996 and then to the Dallas Zoo in February 2017; she died there in November.
“This historic birth is a step forward for western lowland gorilla conservation,” Denise Verret, chief executive and director of the L.A. Zoo, said in a statement. “For the first time in over two decades, Angelenos will now have a unique opportunity to watch this gorilla baby grow up at the L.A. Zoo.”
Starting Sunday, N’djia and the newborn will have a chance to join the baby’s father, a 32-year-old silverback named Kelly, and the rest of the troop at the Campo Gorilla Reserve exhibit.
They can also elect to remain behind the scenes, away from public viewing, zoo officials said.
But visitors are expected to be able to catch a glimpse of the pair over the next couple of weeks as they begin to venture out into their surroundings.