Audubon Zoo Gorilla Expecting

Her First Baby

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: July 13, 2020 7:45 pm


Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo are preparing their western lowland gorilla, Tumani to give birth to her first infant. This will be the first gorilla birth at Audubon Zoo in 24 years.

Tumani, 13 and the father Okpara, 26 are first time parents. They have called Audubon Zoo home since arriving there in 2017. Tumani came from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Okpara came from Franklin Park Zoo. They are expecting the infant to be born in late summer.

At Audubon Zoo the troop consists of Tumani and Okpara along with 2 other western lowland gorilla, females Alafia and Praline who is actually the last gorilla born at Audubon Zoo back in 1996.

Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

Keepers at the zoo have been assisting Tumani with her preparation to become a mother. Each day she receives training and enrichment to help ready her for feeding and caring for the infant. Keepers have also been working with Alafia, who has had a baby before, to train her to help care for the infant or to become a foster mother if Tumani had any issues caring for the baby.

“We are working closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ gorilla birth plan to guarantee that Tumani and the infant are receiving the best prenatal care,” said Audubon Zoo’s Senior Veterinarian Dr. Robert MacLean. “There are many risks involved with gorilla births, especially in a troop unfamiliar with an infant, but we are working with the entire troop to ensure they are ready for the new addition.”

Photo Credit: Audubon Zoo

The birth of this western lowland gorilla has been planned by the Species Survival Plan run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This plan manages the 358 gorillas which live at 48 North American zoos to ensure there is a sustainable, healthy population of gorillas in managed care.

Western lowland gorillas are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered. This is a result of habitat loss, poaching and an increase in disease.

Learn more about the western lowland gorilla here – Western Lowland Gorilla Fact File

Learn more about Audubon Zoo on their website – Audubon Zoo

Video Credit: Audubon Zoo

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