Bring on the babies! The Dallas Zoo has revealed the latest addition to its menagerie — a newborn gorilla.
The zoo showed off the as-yet-unnamed baby Western lowland gorilla in an endearing video, posting it just one week after its 13-year-old mom, Megan, gave birth on March 7.
‘Megan and her baby made their way out into the habitat this morning for the most adorable debut!’ the zoo said in a tweet Thursday.
The Dallas Zoo introduced the world to it’s latest family member, a newborn Western lowland gorilla, which was born on March 7. The baby could be seen being carried by mother, Megan
The baby gorilla is the second gorilla to have been born at the Dallas Zoo in less than a year. It’s half-sister, Saambili, was born nine months ago, but to a different mother
‘Half-sister Saambili made an appearance too. The way Megan effortlessly cares for this sweet newborn is completely melting our hearts.’
The zoo also noted that it would be confirming the newborn’s gender and revealing its name soon.
In the video, Megan can be seen cradling the infant gorilla in her arms, playing with its tiny limbs and cuddling it tightly to her chest as she walks around — behaviors frequently displayed by human parents with new babies.
Megan also proves herself to be a multitasking mom as she carries her baby in one arm and a bale of hay in the other. Silverback gorilla Subira, the newborn’s father, can be seen in the video, as well.
The baby gorilla is said to be active and nursing often.
The Dallas Zoo revealed the infant gorilla in a sweet video posted on Twitter Thursday
The zoo said that it planned to reveal the gender and name of the infant gorilla soon
The infant gorilla is the second gorilla to be born at the Dallas Zoo in 21 years — it’s half-sister, Saambili, was born nine months ago — and is the first time that zoo workers have had to look after two baby gorillas at the same time in nearly 50 years.
Hosting two baby gorillas at the same ‘is the most ideal social situation for our troop – both of our babies will be able to learn, grow, and play together,’ Dallas Zoo’s primate supervisor Linda King told CBS DFW.
‘This is also a big moment for mom Megan who has been extremely interested in Saambili since day one. She now has the wonderful opportunity to raise a baby of her own.’
Subira is both the newborn and Saambili’s father. They have different mothers.
‘Gorilla conservation is a huge part of Dallas Zoo’s mission – we’ve been unwavering in our commitment to save them in the wild, and now we’re contributing more than ever to their protection in human care,’ Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO Gregg Hudson told CBS DFW.
As part of its efforts to protect the gorilla population, the zoo has partnered with ECO-CELL in asking people to recycle old or unused cell phones and electric devices, which contain coltan, a metal which is mined in Africa’s Congo region, one of the Western lowland gorilla’s native environments.
Dallas Zoo Senior Director of Animal Care Matt James is among those who believes that the increased coltan mining has contributed to the 25 per cent decrease in gorilla populations over the past 15 years.
‘[Gorillas] have no where to go as they’re being forced into smaller spaces. There’s more conflict between gorilla groups and more conflict with humans. We are now forcing gorillas out of the wild and into villages,’ James told NBC DFW.
He added that ‘huge numbers’ of the gorillas are being lost ‘on a very short basis’ and that he anticipates that as cell phones and tablets become even more popular, the coltan mining ‘impact would only become greater,’ leading to the loss of more and more of the gorilla’s native habitat.