Animals

Baby male gorilla born at Franklin Park Zoo

He's a cutie.

Western lowland gorilla baby rests in incubator shortly after birth. Zoo New England

The newest resident of Franklin Park Zoo seems like a strong kid, but he might still be a bit too small to climb up the Prudential Tower.

Kiki, a western lowland gorilla at the Boston zoo, delivered a baby boy via cesarean section on October 14. Zoo New England—which runs Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo in Stoneham—announced the birth Tuesday.

The zoo shared a video that shows zoo staff and other local specialists preparing the C-section (the video is not graphic) and giving the baby a checkup as Kiki recovered. They reunited the next day, and the zoo wrote that the boy appeared healthy, strong, and active.

The infant, unnamed for the time being, is the first male gorilla born at the zoo. He had to be delivered via C-section because of complications in Kiki’s pregnancy. The baby’s birth weight was 6 pounds, 3 ounces—gorilla infants usually weigh 3 to 5 pounds, according to the zoo, so he’s a particularly hefty lad.

The baby boy is Kiki’s fifth child. She previously gave birth to four girls, two of whom still live at the zoo.

As is standard protocol, the mother and son will spend some time “bonding behind the scenes” before returning to the zoo exhibit. Franklin Park Zoo will share updates when they’re ready for their public debut on social media.

A Zoo New England veterinarian examined the new baby.

At this point, Franklin Park Zoo could open a daycare—the baby gorilla is the third major birth announced by the zoo this month. A baby pygmy hippo was born Oct. 5, and Baird’s tapir twins were delivered Sept. 29.

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Western lowland gorillas, native to a region in Central Africa, are critically endangered in the wild. Their numbers have declined by over 60% due to poaching and disease in the last couple of decades, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Zoo New England is part of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, a cooperative program between zoos to help endangered species recover. Kiki’s pregnancy was the result of a recommended breeding with her mate, Kitombe.

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