JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is celebrating the birth of a male western lowland gorilla.
The gorilla was born on April 9th and is the fifth gorilla to be born at the zoo and the first since 2018.
The zoo said this is the third offspring for the father, 44- year-old Lash and the second for the mother, 24-year-old Madini. Her daughter, Patty, still lives at the zoo and will be 6 years old on May 9.
The infant is now the ninth member of the largest gorilla group in Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ history.
“We have many reasons to celebrate this new infant. He will further enrich the social environment and experience of his amazing group and strengthen the sustainability of the Gorilla SSP. Although raising Gandai was an incredibly rewarding experience, the gorilla care staff is elated to see this infant thriving in the care of his own mother,” said Tracy Fenn, Assistant Curator of Mammals.
Western lowland gorillas are the most widespread of the gorilla subspecies inhabiting forests and swampland of central Africa. The animals are critically endangered due to deforestation, poaching, and introduced diseases, the zoo said.
Mature male gorillas, or “Silverbacks” are usually much larger than female gorillas. Baby gorillas usually weigh around four pounds at birth and are very dependent on their mothers for up to five years, the zoo said.