ESCONDIDO, CA. — In local birth news, it was a 4-pound baby girl for Kokomo and Winston, their second…
A baby gorilla has been born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials said.
The zoo announced Thursday that Kokomo, a critically endangered western lowland gorilla, gave birth to a daughter about two days ago.
While the Kokomo kid weighs about 4 pounds, Kokomo tops the scales at 229 pounds.
“The baby was born overnight, and the keepers found her in her mother’s arms when they came in (Wednesday) morning,” Safari Park lead keeper Peggy Sexton said.
The zoo says Kokomo is a very protective and attentive mother who won’t let the newborn out of her arms. They said the baby was seen nursing and all indications are that mother and baby are doing well.
However, she is allowing other gorillas to check out her daughter — who doesn’t yet have a name.
It’s the second baby for Kokomo and the father, named Winston.
The baby is the eighth member of the zoo’s gorilla troop.
This is blessed event number six overall for Kokomo. She also gave birth to twins while hanging at the Oklahoma City zoo.
Want to check out the latest in gorilla nuclear families?
“The best time of day to see the baby is around 9 a.m., when the gorillas go on exhibit in the Gorilla Forest,” Sexton said.
“The babies are only between 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 pounds, so they’re really tiny and the mom’s hold them very close to the chest,” Sexton said. “Often what you’ll see is the little face, and maybe a foot or a hand sticking out.”
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
This was the San Diego Zoo blog post concerning the blessed event:
It’s a Girl-illa: Gorilla Born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
When gorilla keepers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park arrived to work on Wednesday morning (Oct. 19, 2016), they discovered another gorilla had joined the troop. The baby, which weighs approximately 4 pounds, was observed nursing with her mother, Kokomo, and all signs indicated that mom and baby were doing well. After a health assessment of mom and baby, keepers kept to the troop’s normal routine and released all of the gorillas onto exhibit.
Animal care staff reported that Kokomo is a very protective and attentive mother. She is allowing the other members of the troop to check out the new baby gorilla, but visitors to the Park should expect that the newborn will be held by her mother constantly, making it difficult to see the baby in the arms of her 229-pound mother.
This is the second baby gorilla for mother Kokomo and father Winston at the Safari Park. Winston doesn’t have a direct role in caring for the baby, at this point—but he will continue to be protective of the troop of eight gorillas, which consists of one adult male, three adult females, 5-year-old Monroe, 8-year-old Frank and 2-year-old Joanne. This is the sixth time Kokomo has given birth; she delivered twins in 1999 when she lived at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This troop is on exhibit daily in Gorilla Forest at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.