ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Como Zoo welcomed another baby gorilla to its family troop this month.
The baby female western lowland gorilla was born behind the scenes last Wednesday to mother Alice. It was her second baby and only the third gorilla birth in the zoo’s 56 years caring for gorillas. Alice’s first baby died after only a few days.
“First-time gorilla mothers are more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing,” John Dee, curator at Como Zoo, said in a statement. “With this birth, everything is tracking as it should. Alice has shown herself to be very attentive, very nurturing and very protective of her new baby, just as we hoped she would.”
Alice came to Como Zoo in 2013 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 considered critically endangered.
Schroeder, a 31-year-old silverback western lowland gorilla, is the baby’s father. His troop consists of females Nne, Alice and Dara, Dara and Schroeder’s baby Arlene, born in 2014, and Alice’s yet-unnamed baby.
The “Gorilla Forest” at Como Zoo is now home to nine gorillas – the six-member family troop and a three-member bachelor troop.
Don’t go to the zoo expecting to see the baby anytime soon–the zoo says the baby, Alice Schroeder and the rest of Schroeder’s troop are currently off-exhibit to allow Alice and her baby time to bond. Como’s bachelor troop, Jabir, Samson, and Virgil, are on exhibit daily.