NEW ORLEANS– For the first time in 24 years, the Audubon Zoo has a new gorilla infant!
“This is a major milestone for Audubon Zoo,” Liz Wilson, Zoo Curator said.
The baby gorilla was born to 13-year old western lowland gorilla, Tumani. This was the first baby for Tumani. Silverback gorilla Okpara is the father.
“Tumani is doing so well. From the beginning she was holding the infant, holding it close to her, grooming it, and supporting it with nursing behavior. She’s even setting boundaries with gorilla troop members. She’s very loving towards the infant,” she said.
The zoo’s hoping that crowds will flock to see this mother’s love and the playful little gorilla. As of now zoo officials are not sure if it is a girl or boy yet.
“Tumani’s been holding it close to her chest, so it is hard to tell,” Wilson said.
It could be a few weeks before any visitors will be allowed to see the mom and infant.
“We are giving them bonding time. It is similar to human’s bonding time with their family. This is the first infant they’ve been around that is their own, so they need that time,” she said.
In the meantime, the public will wait patiently before they could meet the baby.
“It is new life, a new beginning, a start to something wonderful,” Jacquelyn Pass said.
A new life that be a bundle of joy for many lives.
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