Due to poaching, habitat loss, and disease, western lowland gorillas are a critically endangered species. So there’s reason to celebrate the news out of The New Orleans Zoo this week that one of theirs is pregnant.
Tumani, a 13-year-old western lowland gorilla is expecting her first baby after a successful breeding between her and Okpara, a 26-year-old silverback gorilla. This will be the first gorilla birth at the zoo in 24 years.
“Tumani’s pregnancy is a huge deal,” says Audubon Zoo’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Robert McLean. “We want to share that news with the public. It seems to be going well.”
The baby is expected sometime between mid-July and mid-August and the zoo wants to make the whole process natural with as little human interaction as possible.