Silverback Kwan is usually the center of attention in his gorilla group at Regenstein Center for African Apes. But the focus will shift to a much smaller subject in coming months as the zoo celebrates a new baby gorilla.
The baby gorilla snuggles close to mom Bana.
The new arrival was born to 17-year-old female Bana on October 11. While the baby’s sex is still unknown, the little one is healthy and bonding with mom, who is displaying sound maternal care. Dad Kwan is also keeping a watchful eye over the pair.
This gorilla birth is the 51st in Lincoln Park Zoo’s proud history working with the species. It came about thanks to a recommendation from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
It provides a welcome boost for a species that’s critically endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. In addition to work here at the zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo also conserves gorillas in the wild through the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project.
When can you see the new baby? Regenstein Center for African Apes has been closed since the birth, enabling animal care staff to carefully monitor the new arrival—and giving the seven-member gorilla group an opportunity to adjust to having an infant among them. (Females Susie, Kowali, Rollie and Bahati make up the rest of the group.)
But the building will open to the public for the first time tomorrow, October 17. To give the gorillas a chance to catch up on sleep—humans aren’t the only ones who toss and turn with a new baby—the building will be opening an hour later than normal, 11 a.m., for the next week.
Come see the new baby! I look forward to sharing more updates—including sex and a name—when we have them.