Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs announced the birth of a beautiful new baby western lowland gorilla, whose gender has yet to be determined, who was born to the zoo Tuesday morning. Both mother and baby are currently on view for the public to see because the baby gorilla was born in the gorilla exhibit.
The baby, who has not yet been named and will not be named for 30 days following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tradition, was born to 19-year-old Asha and 28-year-old Rafiki.
"Both mom and baby are doing well," says Animal Care Manager Dina Bredahl in a press release. Asha's pregnancy was a happy surprise for Zoo staff who were concerned that because of an appendix-related surgery that forced surgeons to remove one of her ovaries, she wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered due to a population reduction of more than 80 percent over three generations (where a generation is estimated as 22 years). The population reduction is due to an "exceptionally high level" of hunting as well as disease-induced mortality.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is America's only mountain zoo and is home to more than 800 animals, representing more than 200 species.
Watch video of the new baby just hours after birth above and photos of the baby gorilla and other western lowland gorillas below.