Second Baby Gorilla Press Materials

Second Newborn Gorilla Joins Lincoln Park Zoo Troop

(Chicago – Nov. 19, 2012) There is a baby boom at Lincoln Park Zoo! The zoo is pleased to announce the birth of its second western lowland gorilla this fall. 

The baby is a girl and appears to be in good health, doing well in the arms of her mother, 16-year-old Rollie. Proud papa Kwan, the 23-year-old silverback, now has two little ones to look after. He also sired a baby girl named Patty with troop member Bana in October.

Rollie’s baby represents not only the eighth member of the troop, but the third generation. Kowali, 34, is Rollie’s mom and a new grandma.

“It is so much fun having multiple youngsters in the same troop, not to mention this type of environment will be great for fostering the social development of these new infants,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “There is a real sense of camaraderie among the adult females, and their babies will have the chance to play together and learn from each other.”

The last time Lincoln Park Zoo had two infants in the same troop was 2004 when Susie and Azizi were born a year apart. Both gorillas still reside at the zoo.

Keepers and veterinarians are closely monitoring Rollie and her offspring, as the first few weeks of life are risky for gorilla babies. Like all expectant ape mothers at Lincoln Park Zoo, Rollie was given maternal training as part of her standard operant conditioning, setting her up for success to properly position and nurse the baby.

“We are encouraged by the bonding we already see between mom and baby. The two of them have been spending most of their time in a nest Rollie carefully crafted. The other individuals in the troop are interested, especially Bana and Patty, who are often close by,” said Leahy.

Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in their native central Africa due to habitat loss and poaching. Lincoln Park Zoo’s great apes program is one of the best in the world; this baby is the 52nd born at the zoo. The state-of-the-art Regenstein Center for African Apes is internationally-recognized for its enriching exhibit design, while scientists at the zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes lead their field with research in behavioral studies and disease monitoring.

Lincoln Park Zoo members will get a special sneak peek at the newest addition between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at Regenstein Center for African Apes. The building will then be open to the public from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. that day and then every day from 11:00 – 4:30 p.m.


Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246                       


  Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791



Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit

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Photos credited to Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo