It’s a great Monday at the Los Angeles Zoo!
For the first time in over 20 years, the zoo is home to a baby western lowland gorilla, a critically endangered species.
Twenty-five-year-old N’djia gave birth to a healthy baby on Saturday morning. This is the first gorilla birth at the L.A. Zoo in over two decades.
N’djia and her new arrival are getting along well and have spent their first days together bonding, with N’djia often holding her child in her arms. To allow mom and her baby uninterrupted quality time, zookeepers have not yet sexed the baby.
“This historic birth is a step forward for western lowland gorilla conservation,” Denise M. Verret, CEO and zoo director of the Los Angeles Zoo, said in a statement. “For the first time in over two decades, Angelenos will now have a unique opportunity to watch this gorilla baby grow up at the L.A. Zoo. I want to thank our dedicated animal care and animal health teams who have worked tirelessly monitoring N’djia and her baby’s progress.”
N’djia will continue to call the shots when it comes to her child’s social development. The zoo has left it up to the mother gorilla to choose when she and the newborn will join 32-year-old male silverback gorilla Kelly — the baby’s father — and the rest of the troop in their public exhibit.
The zoo expects guests will be able to get a look at N’djia with her baby in the coming weeks, as the pair becomes more comfortable and starts to explore their exhibit together.