Gorilla Update- Baby has a name (and more)

New gorilla baby, Kimani, looks right into the camera. 
Photo credit: Shannon Collard.

Lead photo credit: Shannon Collard

A lot has happened recently at the Calgary Zoo- so it’s time for a gorilla update!

It’s been an eventful few months for our gorilla troop. We welcomed new life, with the first gorilla baby born in eight years, and said goodbye to a long-term leader, as silverback Kakinga passed away of age-related heart complications. Older female Zuri required an emergency surgery to treat a severe abdominal infection.

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International singer Kiesza raises her voice for gorillas

When it comes to her passion for gorillas, Kiesza doesn’t hideaway.

As soon as the international pop sensation heard about a new baby gorilla in her hometown, she immediately thought about how she could lend her voice and support to protect these endangered species.

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Zoo Keeps Close Eye on Baby Gorilla

Bonding session - mom Kioja and her little girl have not been separated since her check-up.

Today marks the 13th day since our baby gorilla arrived! The Animal Care team has been keeping close watch on how the little one is doing but are noticing that the baby is small and has a low weight. The team has seen very successful bonding between Kioja and her baby as well as strong paternal protective instincts from Kakinga. Despite these positive behaviours, the baby is not progressing as quickly as hoped.

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The baby gorilla has arrived!

After months of waiting, the Calgary Zoo is thrilled to announce that we have a new baby western lowland gorilla!

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Please note: We ask for your patience and understanding as we allow Kioja and her baby the time to bond. The TransAlta Rainforest building will reopen to visitors in the week of March 14, 2016.
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The countdown begins… baby gorilla on the way!

Kioja is starting to look visibly pregnant. Gorillas usually have a small potbelly, but this is no ordinary stomach!

We’re nearing the end of Kioja’s term of pregnancy, which means that our animal care team is starting to keep an extra close watch on our favourite expecting gorilla. Kioja’s due date is estimated to be in late February or early March, but like mothers of the human variety, it is possible for the baby to arrive early, or to arrive fashionably late.

We’ve mentioned troop dynamics, the importance of this gorilla baby to the Species Survival Plan (SSP), and the potential outcomes for the birth of this western lowland gorilla, but we’ve have yet to talk about a question on everyone’s mind- what does the road to birth look like for a gorilla? Much like when a human is expecting a child, there are certain behaviors that are typical in a pregnancy to watch out for.

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Incoming…preparing for a new gorilla in the group!

Being pregnant is hard work! Gorilla Kioja takes a little rest.

When people have children, new moms and dads rely on classes, experience of others and the numerous how-to books made available. Welcoming a new gorilla baby to the zoo is much the same thing when there is no other ‘mom’ that can lend her know-how. Getting ready is is hard work!

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