POSTED: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 3:37pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 11:39am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The Gladys Porter Zoo is overjoyed to announce the birth of a baby female Western lowland gorilla. She is the offspring of 14-year-old female, Kiazi and 29-year-old silverback male, Moja. Kiazi gave birth at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
Kiazi showed no motherly instinct after the first hours following the delivery of her first offspring. Although this first-time mother lacked maternal instinct toward this baby, it does not mean she will react the same to future offspring. In cases such as this, zookeepers step in and rear the infant until she can be reintroduced into the group.
In the past Martha, the dominant female, has taken on motherly duties when the staff has reintroduced hand-reared babies. Kiazi joined the Gladys Porter Zoo’s gorilla troop in October 2011 as part of a Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendation. She came to us from the Pittsburg Zoo but is on breeding loan transfer from the Cincinnati Zoo. The SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for selected species that manages captive breeding in order to maintain a healthy self-sustaining population that is genetically diverse and stable. Through this breeding loan, this baby female gorilla belongs to the Cincinnati Zoo. The Gladys Porter Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo and SSP coordinators will decide if the newborn will stay and be reintroduced into our gorilla troop or be relocated to Cincinnati for introduction into their gorilla troop.
Zookeepers report that the baby gorilla is doing well and currently weighs 4 pounds and 8 ounces. She is being fed baby formula and alerts zookeepers to feed her when she starts fidgeting and making sucking noises. Her temperature and food intake are being recorded around the clock to make sure she is healthy.
The public is welcome to visit this baby gorilla in our nursery inside the Small World section of the Zoo.