Como Zoo announces another gorilla pregnancy


Just in time for Mother's Day, Como Zoo announced that the pregnancy of Alice, one of their Western Lowland Gorillas, has reached the second trimester.

The gestation period for a gorilla is around 36 weeks, so Alice is due between early September to mid-October, according to the zoo.

This is the 14-year-old gorilla's second pregnancy, but hopefully this one will be more successful than the first.

"First-time gorilla mothers are more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing," said John Dee, a curator at Como Zoo.

Alice's first infant died just days old, despite efforts from zoo keepers. The mortality rate for infant gorillas is 40 percent in the first few months.

Dara, another female Western Lowland Gorilla at the zoo also gave birth in 2014. Her baby, Arlene, is alive and healthy. Dee says Alice has been able to watch and learn from Dara, and has the experience will help her this fall.

"We are cautiously optimistic moving forward," said Dee. "Alice is in good health, and her pregnancy appears to be progressing well."

Schroeder will be the father of the baby. Schroeder is considered to be genetically valuable to conservationists, and is contributing to the 3rd gorilla birth in 57 years.

Alice has been at Como Zoo since 2013. She came as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which serves 52 zoos in the United States to help control the gorilla population.

Western Lowland gorillas are highly endangered.

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