COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The baby fever continues at Riverbanks Zoo!
Zoo officials announced the birth of a baby western lowland gorilla to mother Kazi Monday morning just after 8 a.m. Monday.
The birth of the infant is the first time a baby gorilla would be born at Riverbanks. The baby's birth is a welcomed event given gorilla Maci's unsuccessful pregnancy last year. Macy's baby was born breech and did not survive after delivery.
There was always a possibility that there could be problems during or after delivery despite survival rates of western lowland gorillas are higher in captivity than in the wild. The latest Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gorilla Species Survival Plan research estimated that 81.9 percent of females and 73.3 percent of males survive within the first year of captivity.
The birth is considered "significant" by the AZA Gorilla SSP as only 100,000 western lowland gorillas are estimated to remain in the wild.
"This is an exciting time for Riverbanks, out members and guests, and the community," John Davis, Director of Animal Care and Welfare, said. "Kazi has been a great mother throughout her pregnancy, and we anticipate that she will continue to provide the best care for her infant. The infant began nursing shortly after delivery and appears to be bonding well with mom. The first 72 hours post-partum is the most critical. Animal care staff will continue to closely monitor Kazi and her infant and the entire family troop."
The Gorilla Base Camp area of the zoo will be closed to guests for the next few days while the gorillas spend time together indoors.