By Hadas Kuznits


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Zoo today welcomed a new resident primate.

Kira, a female western lowland gorilla, was brought here to the Philadelphia Zoo from the Franklin Park Zoo, in Boston.

Dr. Meredith Bastian, curator of primates and small mammals at the zoo, says it’s sort of like Match.com for zoo animals, as the zoo hopes to mate her with Jabari, the zoo’s “silverback” gorilla.

“Most of our primates are part of what’s called a Species Survival Plan,” Bastian explains.   “That group of people get together and look at the genetics of the entire population of animals that are in the zoos, and decide where animals best match up in terms of genetics.  And so it is sort of like a dating service in a way, and we do have a breeding recommendation for our new female, Kira.”

(Dr. Meredith Bastian.   Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(Dr. Meredith Bastian. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

And Dr. Bastian says hopes are high for these critically endangered animals:

“We hope that as soon as we take her off the contraception, which will be pretty soon, they’ll get together as they have been on occasion already, and hopefully we’ll have a baby next spring or so.”

Listen to the complete interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 6:09)…

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