Buffalo, N.Y. – The Buffalo Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla!
The baby was born on October 8 at 7:40 p.m. to mother, Sidney, and father, Koga. Sidney, who was born at the Buffalo Zoo in 1997, and 23-year-old Koga, who arrived from the Memphis Zoo in 2007, are both first-time parents. Sidney continues to provide good care for the baby, while silverback, Koga, protectively watches over them and the rest of the troop. Sydney has not presented the baby close enough for her keepers to accurately determine gender, but both mother and baby are doing fine..
Since 1990, nine surviving gorilla babies have been born at the Buffalo Zoo. This is the first gorilla birth at the Buffalo Zoo since fellow troop member, Lily, was born in 2000. This birth also represents the second gorilla generation for the Buffalo Zoo. The breeding was recommended as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help a species maintain a stable, healthy and genetically diverse population in zoos.
Visitors may view the baby, Sidney, Koga, Lily and Becky in their exhibit. However, the gorillas are also given access to their interior holding facility so they can have more privacy, if they wish. Visitors are advised to check back later if they are unable to see the baby gorilla during the first attempt at viewing.
Western lowland gorillas are found the lowland tropical forests of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and Nigeria. They are critically endangered due to habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade.
The gestation period for a gorilla is eight and a half months. Baby gorillas begin walking when they are approximately three to six months old, and they and are usually weaned by age three.