It’s a boy…Or a girl?  

-Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomes baby gorilla-

August 15, 2012, Colorado Springs, CO – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is happy to announce the addition of a baby western lowland gorilla to its troop.  The baby, whose gender has yet to be determined, was born to mom Asha (19 years old) and dad Rafiki (28 years old) early Tuesday morning.  Both mom and baby are doing well, says Animal Care Manager Dina Bredahl.  The baby is Asha’s second offspring, and will be a little brother or sister for Tumani, who is five years old.  This will be an excellent opportunity for Tumani to learn mothering skills from Asha, who is a great mom, says Bredahl.  Cheyenne Mountain Zoo policy dictates that primate babies would not be removed from their mothers unless a serious medical condition demanded it, so no neo-natal veterinary exam will be conducted at this time. 

See the first photos of the new baby here.

See video of the baby just hours after birth.

The baby, who brings the Zoo’s gorilla troop to a total of seven, will be named in 30 days, following Zoo tradition.  Because the baby was born in the gorilla exhibit, both mom and baby are currently on view for the public to see.

Asha’s pregnancy was a happy surprise for Zoo staff, who were concerned that, because of an appendix-related surgery that forced surgeons to remove one of her ovaries, she wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again.  Currently, Asha and Rafiki have a breeding recommendation through the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which helps to ensure strong genetic integrity within species.  Western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s only mountain zoo, is home more than 800 animals, representing more than 200 species.

# # #