Baby gorilla Arlene latest addition to Como Zoo baby boom

photo provided by Como Zoo
photo provided by Como Zoo

Baby Arlene is the latest member of the recent baby boom at Como Zoo in St. Paul. The female western lowland gorilla was born in the evening hours of Sunday, Feb. 22 to first-time mother Dara.

Weighing approximately 5 lbs at birth, the baby gorilla appears healthy and strong. They will likely make their public debut at the Gorilla Forest in late March.

How Arlene got her name

Statement from Como Zoo:

"As a tribute to the late Arlene Scheunemann, often referred to as Como's Zoo Mom, the baby will be named "Arlene". Beginning in 1968 and spanning 45 years, Arlene Scheunemann was mother to four human children and foster mom to over 200 wild animals in her home. Arlene was responsible for the care and feeding of newborn animals such as tigers, orangutans, and gorillas in the days before Como had the facilities to care for infant animals. She was a tireless advocate for improving the lives and safety of animals, procuring funding for zoo improvements, and promoting sustainability of Como Zoo. Arlene's patience, perseverance, tenacity, and never-ending dedication ensured survival for many of the animals she cared for and helped make Como Zoo what it is today."

VIDEO – Dara's ultrasound from October 2014

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