COLUMBIA, SC (WCBD) – Congratulations are in order! Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s has announced the birth of a baby gorilla.
Zoo officials announced the western lowland gorilla troop expanded when an infant was born to mom Macy and dad Cenzoo shortly after 1:15pm on Wednesday, October 17, growing the family group to six.
“The first 72-hours post-partum are the most critical; however, both mom and infant appear to be doing well,” said Sue Pfaff, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “The baby’s eyes are open, the infant looks alert, and the entire family troop is adapting well to the newest member.”
According to staff with the zoo, only an estimated 100,000 western lowland gorillas remain in the wild. They say the birth is a significant addition to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan and sustainability of the species.
Macy’s half-sister Kazi also delivered a healthy infant back in June. The nearly 5-month-old gorilla was the first to be raised at Riverbanks in the Zoo’s 44-year history.
“We are so excited for Macy,” Pfaff said. “The loss of her first infant last May was heartbreaking, but we knew in our hearts that she would have the opportunity to be a mother again, and we are thrilled to share this with the community.”
Riverbanks Zoo says gorillas usually give birth to one offspring at a time following a gestation period of about 8.5 months.
You won’t be able to see the baby gorilla in person just yet, though. Leaders say the Gorilla Base Camp will be closed to guests for the next several days while the family troop enjoys time together indoors.
However, guests will have an opportunity to see Patrick, Riverbanks’ other male silverback, who is on exhibit daily.