The San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomed a newborn baby western gorilla to its pack last week. The baby was born Saturday at 9 p.m. and is the first gorilla born at the Safari Park in more than 10 years.
Safari Park zookeepers report that the mother is nursing the baby often and taking excellent care of it.
The newborn gorilla male has yet to be named. According to Jenny Mehlow, a representative from the San Diego Zoo, keepers have not been able to examine or weigh the baby since they do not want to interfere.
”We don’t put our hands on the baby, ever,” Mehlow said.
Mehlow said they found out the sex of the newborn visually with the help of a zoo curator.
The baby’s mother, Kokamo, is 22 years old, and has previously given birth to four offspring. Kokamo has been at the Safari Park since March 2010. Mehlow said the female gorilla was recommended to breed with the one of the silverback males in accordance with the Species Survival Plan, which helps to conserve threatened or endangered species.
The park now has six gorillas, which are considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.