PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a new and adorable addition to the family, a western lowland baby gorilla.
The gorilla was born on Friday to Honi, 21, and Motuba, a 31-year-old silverback male.READ MORE: Community Recalls Memories At Historic St. Leo's Church In Tacony As Fire Crews Work To Determine What Caused Blaze
The Zoo says this is the second birth for Honi and the first for Honi and Motuba together.
“We are very excited to welcome Honi’s new baby,” says Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer.
“The Zoo works with the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose goal is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability. This birth is an opportunity to engage our visitors in caring about the future of gorillas in the wild.”
Officials say mom and baby both appear healthy and they will continue to be monitored by staff in the coming weeks and months.READ MORE: Funeral For Slain Officer, Delmar Police Cpl. Keith Heacook, To Be Held Monday
Like humans, officials say gorilla babies rely completely on their mother for care.
”Given Honi’s experience, we’re not surprised she’s been a great mother so far, but we’re very pleased that both she and the baby appear healthy,” says Baker.
The baby gorilla made its debut on Wednesday at the Philadelphia Zoo.
The Zoo says it will enlist the help of visitors, members and social media followers to help name the baby through a contest on the Zoo’s website.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Police Chief Frank Vanore, Captain Jason Smith To Address Violent Weekend Across City
The infant currently lives in PECO Primate Reserve with mom Honi, dad Motuba and other troop mate female gorilla Kira.