March 17, 2015

The First Baby Gorilla In 15 years Born at Melbourne Zoo


On Saturday night, Kimya, a western lowland gorilla at Melbourne Zoo, gave birth to her first baby - and the first gorilla born at the zoo in 15 years. As of right now, the sex of the newborn is yet to be determined, and a name hasn’t been chosen.

But luckily (?) for us, the whole thing was caught on tape, as you can see above. Warning: the video shows the actual live birth of a baby gorilla, so if you’re just about to bite into some kind of gooey delicacy, maybe save it for later.

The new mother had been under constant observation for the past month, and seems to be recovering well after the birth. The baby’s father Otana and three older females were in the room with her as she gave birth, and Yuska, the first gorilla to ever have a baby in Australia, was staying next door.

Kimya arrived in Melbourne in 2013 from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo as part of an international breeding program. The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a critically endangered subspecies of western gorilla and it’s estimated there are around 100,000 individuals left in the wild, which are faced with a number of threats, including Ebola, deforestation and poaching. 

 Zoos worldwide contain another 550 gorillas and they are working hard to help increase the population’s numbers. So it's a pretty exciting delivery. 
You can see more adorable images of the mother and newborn below from Zoos Victoria. Congratulations, Kimya!

By Fiona McDonald

With many thanks to Science Alert