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Zoo welcomes baby gorilla

LITTLE ROCK (June 21, 2018) – The Little Rock Zoo is bursting with pride to announce the birth of a new baby gorilla. The infant was born Wednesday, June 20, and both mom and baby are doing well.

The gorilla baby is the third born at the Little Rock Zoo as well as the third born to Sekani. Father of the baby is silverback Kivu, a first-time father who came to the Little Rock Zoo in 2016 from Santa Barbara Zoo on a breeding recommendation by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan.  Zoo staff  members report that Kivu has been a very attentive father, so far.

The infant, whose sex has not been determined yet, has been seen nursing several times. Mom Sekani has access to indoor areas to take the baby inside throughout the day. Sekani and the baby can be seen on exhibit periodically throughout the day.

Sekani and female gorilla Catherine came to the Little Rock Zoo in 2004 from the Toronto Zoo. Her first offspring, Mosi, was born in October 2006. Sekani’s second offspring, Adelina, was born in August 2012. Mosi was transferred to the Lincoln Park Zoo to live with a bachelor group of young male gorillas in 2012. Adelina lives with Sekani, Catherine, Kivu and the new infant.

Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered and are one of two subspecies of gorilla. They can be primarily found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea as well as large areas in Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Poaching and disease threaten the gorilla. Gorilla numbers have declined more than 60 percent over the past 20 to 25 years.