SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 1, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Hogle Zoo has announced the birth of baby Western Lowland Gorilla, not yet named, but now nearly a month old.
“The 5-pound baby girl was born to first-time mom, Jabali (juh-BALL-ee), early in the morning on July 6,” the Zoo statement says.
Ape keeper Clair Hallyburton said the addition was long awaited.
“This is unbelievably exciting,” Hallyburton said. “We’ve been looking forward to this for so long, we did everything we could to prepare and it’s gone better than we could have hoped.”
The father is male silver back, Husani (hoo-SAH-nee).
“Being first-time parents, the Zoo’s primate team wanted to give the troop plenty of time to adjust to each other, as well as adjust to the return of public visitors,” the Zoo statement says.
Jubali had a few skills to learn.
“It’s always tricky with first-time moms,” Hallyburton said. “Jabali definitely needed time figuring out how to nurse and Husani struggled the first day with figuring out what the crying was. But since then they’ve been really great.”
Jubali is doing great, Hallyburton said.
“She’s taken really well to motherhood. She’s being very gentle, she’s investigating, she’s caring. She’s doing everything she needs to do.”
Zoo guests can visit the baby gorilla daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. by reserving a time slot at www.hoglezoo.org. The viewing area is indoors, and masks are required.
This is the first successful birth of a Western Lowland Gorilla in the Zoo’s history.
Working through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Species Survival Plan, the birth is an important contribution to the endangered gorilla species,” the Zoo statement says.
Gorillas babies are weaned at about two years but stay with mom for 3 to 5 years. Gorillas are endangered in the wild due to habitat loss for the mining of coltan and the illegal, unsustainable wildlife meat trade.