Cuteness alert: A critically endangered gorilla has been born at the Calgary Zoo (PHOTOS)

May 26 2023, 4:04 pm

The zoo’s population has grown by one more member with the birth of a critically endangered gorilla at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo.

A 15-year-old western lowland gorilla named Yewande gave birth at the Calgary Zoo yesterday afternoon. It is still very early but mom, baby, and the rest of the troop are all doing really well so far.

The zoo’s Animal Care, Health and Welfare team says Yewande has been showing some excellent mothering skills.

“It warms our hearts to see Yewande settling into a motherhood role,” said Kim Walker, animal care manager (South America/Rainforest) at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “Yewande and the baby are doing well and we’ve closed the building to give the troop some privacy as they get acquainted with their newest family member.”

The Animal Care, Health and Welfare team is keeping an eye on things from a safe distance to make sure everything is going smoothly.

The zoo says gorillas are a social species and develop close-knit family bonds. Yewande, the father Jasiri, and the new baby are together with the rest of the troop in the main habitat. Zoo representatives say they are seeing positive behaviour from the troop.

We all want to see the new, sweet baby but for now, The African Rainforest building is closed to allow the troop some privacy as they bond with their newest member.

This is the 11th baby of this critically endangered species to be born at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo.

The zoo says wild gorilla populations have decreased by 80% over the past 30 years due to poaching and habitat destruction, mostly for mineral coltan, which is used in cell phone production.

The team at the zoo has been busy with new babies this month. Earlier this week, the zoo welcomed a new baby zebra. Two weeks ago, another critically endangered species saw its numbers grow by one with a lemur being born.

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