December 5, 2021

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Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo Welcomes New Baby Gorilla

Woodland Park Zoo/Facebook

It’s a girl!

On Friday, the Woodland Park Zoo welcomed a new baby gorilla into their ranks, after their 24-year-old female gorilla Nadiri gave birth at 10:25 a.m.

“The baby’s vital signs are good and she’s healthy and physically normal,” Dr. Darin Collins, director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo, told KOMO News. “The newborn weighs 4.9 pounds. The average weight for a gorilla at birth is 4 pounds, so she’s within the norm.”

The newborn girl is Nadiri’s second baby, but the first offspring between Nadiri and the zoo’s 21-year-old male Kwame. After the birth, zoo officials said Nadiri would not nurse or take care of her newborn, so the baby was placed under the veterinary staff’s care with occasional short visits from her mother.

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The zoo staff is bottle feeding the baby gorilla with human infant formula for the time being.

“We will continue to provide hands-on care while keeping the baby in close proximity to Nadiri 24/7 and attempting to reintroduce her to mom,” Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo, told KOMO.

Woodland Park Zoo/Facebook

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“We will continue to introduce Nadiri to her baby. She is staying close and has picked up her baby for short periods over the weekend, but has not shown any interest in nursing her. By doing short introduction sessions frequently throughout each day, we hope her maternal instinct will soon kick in,” he added.

According to animal experts, because Nadiri was partially human-raised as an infant, she does not have any experience as a mom. She similarly ignored her first infant, Yola, who was born in 2015.

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Yola reportedly also spent the early months of her life under the care of the zoo’s gorilla keepers with occasional interactions with her mom until Nadiri’s maternal instinct kicked in. Once Nadriri started caring for her baby, Yola was reunited with her mom and the other gorillas.

Zoo officials were hopeful that this time Nadiri’s maternal instincts would take over right after the new baby’s birth, but when she didn’t pick up her newborn, the staff got involved. They will continue to introduce the baby to Nadiri and are hopeful that the mother and child will connect soon.

Originally published

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