Calgary Zoo on baby watch as pregnant gorilla prepares for labour

May 5 2023, 8:32 pm

The Calgary Zoo is keeping a close eye on one of its gorillas and watching for signs of labour as it gets ready to welcome a baby to the zoo.

The zoo’s Animal Care, Health & Welfare (ACHW) team is keeping a close watch on a western lowland gorilla, Yewande, and monitoring her for any signs of labour.


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The zoo says Yewande is doing very well and she is still participating in most scatter feeds and shifting with the troop. They do note that she is choosing to spend more time in the moat or in the shade when outdoors to keep cool as the weather has warmed up in Calgary.

As the temperatures rise, the ACHW team is making sure that this troop is properly hydrated.

Much like humans, zoo staff have also had to “baby-proof” the area. They have brought in large swings and other larger enrichment items. They have also taken away rolls of paper towels and fabric.

And of course, they need to make sure the mom-to-be is comfortable, so they have brought in extra bedding material so Yewande and the rest of the troop can rest before and after the baby is born.

Visitors may also notice that the habitat looks a little different. As we await the arrival of our newest addition, the ACHW team has taken some steps to “baby-proof” the habitat and back-of-house spaces.

When it comes time for the newest member of the troop to make its first appearance, the ACHW staff says they will monitor via video from a distance to make sure everything is going smoothly.

They say the average labour for this type of gorilla is about half an hour but it could be longer.

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