NEW ORLEANS– The Audubon Zoo is eagerly awaiting the birth of their first baby gorilla to be born in 24 years.
This will be the first baby for 13-year old Western Lowland gorilla, Tumani.
“We are so ready to welcome this infant into this gorilla troop,” Liz Wilson at Audubon Zoo said.
Tumani’s labor will be very similiar to a human. The zoo is hoping it’ll be natural with no medications.
“It is better for the animals to be able to experience it with limited contact in regard to that she needs to do it on her own. There’s not much we can do other than jump in an an emergency, which we don’t expect,” Wilson said.
Tumani will give birth in her habitat.
“We expect her to give birth in her hammock, where she spends a lot of her time. We also give her a lot of bedding material to make her own nest. Just like humans it is better to only have close family around and that’s why we expect her to be around her gorilla troop during this process,” she said.
The community is excited about the birth. Recently, the Zoo hosted a virtual baby shower registry and the response was overwhelmingly successful. They raised thousands of dollars and received over 200 gifts from the registry.
The greatest gift of all will be the gift of new life.
Right now they do not know if the baby gorilla will be a boy or girl, and they don’t have a name picked out yet.