Baby gorilla born at Calgary Zoo is a girl

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Dossi, the zoo’s 21-year-old western lowland gorilla, holds the baby she gave birth to on April 20.   (Submitted by Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo - image credit)
Dossi, the zoo’s 21-year-old western lowland gorilla, holds the baby she gave birth to on April 20. (Submitted by Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo - image credit)

The baby gorilla born last week at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is a girl, and she's being well cared for by her mother, officials confirmed Wednesday.

"We couldn't be more thrilled with how it's going," said the zoo's rainforest supervisor, Carrie Coleman.

"She took to her infant just like she needed to, and she's been a perfect mom."

Dossi, the zoo's 21-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth to the baby on April 20.

Jasiri, a 23-year-old silverback male, is the baby's dad.

Submitted by Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo
Submitted by Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

The zoo has not yet picked a name for the infant gorilla.

"We want to get to know her a little bit better," Coleman said.

Gorillas are a social species and develop close-knit family bonds. Dossi, Jasiri and the newborn are together with the rest of the gorilla troop in the main habitat, which remains closed to the public.

"Family is everything for western lowland gorillas, and all gorillas. It brings the troop together. It's a very exciting point for them to share something very special, and we couldn't be more excited," Coleman said.

The zoo is home to six adult gorillas. The last successful gorilla birth at the Calgary Zoo was Kimani, born in 2016.

This birth represents important genetic diversity within the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Program, the zoo says.

Wild gorilla populations have decreased by 80 per cent over the past 30 years because of poaching and habitat destruction, mostly for the mineral coltan, which is used in cellphone production, the zoo said.

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