OKC Zoo welcomes baby gorilla

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SOURCE: Oklahoma City Zoo news release


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating great news in a small package! A Western lowland gorilla was born at the Zoo on Tuesday, March 24, at 10:33 a.m. at Great EscApe to mom Emily, 29. This birth is the fifth for Emily and the second offspring for dad Togo, 27, since he arrived from the Toledo Zoological Gardens in 2012. The sex of the infant is unknown.

“Emily appears to be doing well and is very attentive to her infant,” said Laura Bottaro, Zoo curator. “Mom and baby are bonding but should be on view during normal Zoo hours.” Emily was born at the OKC Zoo in 1985 and will celebrate her 30th birthday at the end of April.

“This birth is a positive addition to Emily and Togo's troop and reinforces the Zoo’s commitment to the conservation of this critically endangered species," said Dr. Dwight Lawson, Zoo Executive Director/CEO. It’s great for the Oklahoma City community to be a part of saving these animals."

Western lowland gorilla infants are born after a 9-month gestation and are dependent upon their mothers for the first two years of their lives. Growing at twice the rate of a human baby, they can crawl and ride their mother’s back at three months. Western lowland gorillas are endangered in part due to destruction of habitat and illegal hunting.

The Zoo participates in the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP), developed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). The SSP is a cooperative, long-term management program designed to maintain genetically viable and geographically stable populations of specific species.

Come, see the Zoo’s newest little arrival!  Located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, the Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. and last entry at 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages three to 11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Are you a Zoo fan?  Find us at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.com.