Brookfield Zoo welcomes new baby gorilla

SHARE Brookfield Zoo welcomes new baby gorilla

Western lowland gorilla Koola cradles her newborn infant at the Brookfield Zoo. The baby was born on June 1 right in front of zoo visitors. | Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

Visitors to the Brookfield Zoo can now experience the rare sight of a mother gorilla caring for her newborn baby.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which runs the suburban zoo, confirmed the birth of a newborn western lowland gorilla to 23-year-old Koola on June 1.

The sex of the baby is currently unknown, as zookeepers take a hands-off approach toward young primates and refrain from interfering with the mother gorilla too soon after childbirth, according to Senior Curator of Mammals Amy Roberts.

“The gorillas know what they’re doing, and we don’t really have to intervene at all,” Roberts said.

The only gorillas that have handled the newborn have been Koola and the baby’s older sister, 4-year-old Nora.

The baby has yet to be named, and the zoo isn’t sure yet how it will choose its name. In the past, the zoo has held naming contests or accepted name suggestions from donors.

A newborn gorilla isn’t an everyday occurrence for the zoo. The last birth at Brookfield was now-2-year-old Zachary, born in 2015, and Nora before that in 2013, according to Roberts.

“Now that we’ve got three young ones out there … that are able to wrestle and play with each other, it’s going to be absolutely fantastic,” Roberts said.


New birth brings fourth generation of endangered gorillas to Brookfield Zoo

Penguin chick born at Brookfield Zoo

Love is in the air for Brookfield Zoo’s polar bears

Brookfield Zoo’s oldest animal, 50-year-old gorilla Ramar, euthanized

Roberts said a few zoogoers were lucky enough to be present at the habitat the day of the birth to witness it.

Visitors can see the newborn at the zoo’s “Tropic World: Africa” exhibit. After about three months, the baby will begin riding on Koola’s back.

The infant’s father is a 35-year-old gorilla named JoJo, who was brought over from the Lincoln Park Zoo in 2012 as part of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which promotes healthy breeding and population management for species.

Western lowland gorillas are considered a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Causes for their endangerment include habitat destruction and degradation, diseases such as Ebola and commercial hunting.

There are currently about 350 western lowland gorillas in captivity in North American accredited zoos and around 200,000 living in their native West Africa.

The Latest
It’s still not clear why the Rev. Frederick Haynes III, a Texas megachurch pastor, suddenly resigned Tuesday as president of the legendary South Side social justice organization. But longtime observers say an out-of-towner was doomed from the start.
Hall participated in Hawks morning skate Thursday — on the last day of the season — for the first time since his surgery in November. He expects to be fully healthy for training camp next season.
The most common dog breed in Chicago — making up about 14% of all registered dogs — is a mixed-breed dog, followed by pit bulls, Labrador retrievers and German shepherds.
Democrats are deeply focused on Wisconsin and Michigan to help bolster President Joe Biden’s re-election chances — and officials, in town for meetings hosted by the Democratic National Convention Committee, say they plan on showing voters a deep party contrast.
Read on to find out about how 4/20 came about, some frequently asked questions about Delta-8 weed alternative and a weed syndrome that causes vomiting, and some events that fall on the high holiday.