Fort Worth Zoo announces birth of western lowland gorilla baby
December 09, 2015
The newest primate’s arrival is a first for the species at the Zoo
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Fort Worth Zoo proudly announces the birth of the Zoo’s first-ever western lowland gorilla. The male primate was born on Saturday, Dec. 5 to first-time parents Gracie and Elmo.
The yet-to-be-named ape is staying close to his mother as he gets acclimated to his surroundings in the Zoo’s World of Primates exhibit. He will be viewable in indoor or outdoor exhibits at various times during the day, which will be dictated by weather conditions and his activity level.
The Fort Worth Zoo is the only zoo in the nation to house representatives of all four great ape species — gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to hunting and disease. Gorillas also have an alarmingly low reproductive rate (at an observed rate of 3 percent population increase), so even if there was a drastic decline in hunting and disease, it could take at least 75 years for population recovery to occur in optimistic scenarios. The Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program for gorillas that maintains a healthy, self-sustaining population of vulnerable animals to help prevent their extinction.
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel, the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide, the No. 1 attraction in the DFW Metroplex by Zagat survey and a top 10 zoo or aquarium by FamilyFun magazine and TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. The Zoo is home to more than 500 animal species and a world-famous reptile collection, housed in the Museum of Living Art (MOLA). The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second to none, enhancing the lives of more than 1 million visitors a year.