This is the second surviving child for Lulu, a 19-year-old western lowland gorilla

By Maria Pasquini
July 26, 2019 05:38 PM
Zoo Atlanta

There was a very special arrival at Zoo Atlanta this week!

On Thursday, the zoo announced that a 19-year-old western lowland gorilla named Lulu gave birth on July 24.

The newborn, whose name has yet to be announced, is Lulu’s second surviving baby, and the eleventh for her mate, a 30-year-old silverback named Taz.

In a series of adorable images shared by Zoo Atlanta, Lulu can be seen cradling her newborn in her arms, as the baby gorilla appears to take a nap.

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Although zoos always celebrate the birth of baby animals, Zoo Atlanta noted that the arrival of Lulu’s offspring is even more significant as western lowland gorillas are a “critically endangered species.”

“We look forward to sharing the joy of watching another infant grow up in Taz’s family group in The Ford African Rain Forest, where our visitors can observe the maternal care, sibling interactions and family dynamics that make watching a troop of gorillas such a special experience,” said zoo deputy director Hayley Murphy, DVM, in a press release.

Over the past 25 years, the amount of western lowland gorillas living in the wild have decreased by up to 60 percent due to a combination of poaching, illegal hunting, habitat loss, and disease, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In some parts of Western Africa, the decline is even more pronounced, with populations falling by as much as 90 percent.

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Zoo Atlanta has been dedicated to the study and care of gorillas for over 50 years. Lulu’s newborn is the 24th gorilla baby born at the zoo since they opened The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.

The zoo is home to one of the largest populations of gorilla in North America, including two of the world’s oldest gorillas — female Choomba, 56, and Ozzie, 58, the world’s oldest living male gorilla.