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Dossi and offspring

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo family has grown by one beautiful baby western lowland gorilla today

Posted on April 20

Calgary, AB – The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo announced they are absolutely thrilled to share that "Dossi", the zoo’s beloved 21-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth to a baby early this morning. Mom and baby are doing well so far with great early mothering skills being shown by Dossi. The Animal Care, Health & Welfare team will continue to closely monitor their progression. 

“Jasiri”, the zoo’s 23-year-old silverback male, is the newborn’s father. The sex of the gorilla infant has not yet been determined. 

“This is Dossi’s first baby, and we are cautiously optimistic,” said Jamie Dorgan, Director of Animal Care, Health & Welfare at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “Dossi, Jasiri, the baby and the troop are all adjusting to the newest family member and the Animal Care, Health & Welfare team will be closely monitoring and supporting them every moment along the way.”

Gorillas are a social species and develop close-knit family bonds. Dossi, Jasiri and the infant are  together with the rest of the troop in the main habitat. The Animal Care, Health & Welfare team are seeing positive behaviour from the troop as a whole. The African Rainforest building is closed to allow the troop some privacy as they bond with their newest member. The building will remain closed to the public until the troop is ready for human visitors.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo currently loves and cares for six adult gorillas:

  • Dossi: 21-year-old, female. She was born at the Bronx Zoo on February 4, 2001 and came to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on May 21, 2009 at 8-years-old.
  • Jasiri: 23-year-old, male silverback. He was born at Zoo Atlanta on June 21, 1998 and arrived in Calgary in June 2019 from Zoo Atlanta.
  • Zuri: 25-year-old, female. She was born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Park on December 31, 1996 and came to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on April 26, 2001 at 4-years-old
  • Kioja: 21-year-old, female. She was born at the Bronx Zoo on January 24, 2001 and came to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on May 21, 2009 at 8-years-old
  • Yewande: 13-year-old, female. She was born at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on May 15, 2008.
  • Kimani: 6-year-old, female. She was born at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on March 9, 2016.

This newborn is the 10th of this critically endangered species to be born at Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. The last successful gorilla birth at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo was “Kimani” who was born in 2016.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is part of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species.

Wild gorilla populations have decreased by 80% over the past 30-years due to poaching and habitat destruction, mostly for the mineral coltan which is used in cell phone production. This birth represents important genetic diversity within the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Program (SSP). As a critically endangered species, a healthy population in human care acts as assurance population for gorilla survival into the future. 

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For more information contact:
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | [email protected]

For more than 30-years, the Calgary Zoo has led critical wildlife conservation work through the Calgary Zoo, its rural Wildlife Conservation Breeding Centre, as well as across Canada and around the world. The zoo is internationally recognized for world-class animal care and habitat design practices and takes pride in inspiring and educating generations of visitors about the importance of biodiversity and conservation during visits. As the Calgary Zoo continues its journey to be Canada’s leader in wildlife conservation, we are pleased to introduce the world to the Wilder Institute. 

The Wilder Institute is the rebranded Calgary Zoo Foundation and oversees the Calgary Zoo’s conservation portfolio, locally and globally. Together, we will continue to be a force of nature for making the world a wilder place. The staff and volunteers of Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo are passionate about restoring balance to wildlife and human life, together. As visitors discover the rare and endangered species that we love and care for at our facilities, they are directly contributing through admission and on-grounds sales to a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization that works to fight extinction of plants and animals worldwide. Learn more at WilderInstitute.org and CalgaryZoo.com.