Officials at the Los Angeles Zoo have announced that 25-year-old female critically endangered western lowland gorilla N’djia (en-JEE-uh) has given birth to her first baby — the first gorilla birth at the Zoo in over 20 years.
N’djia and her baby — born on Jan. 18, and which has yet to be sexed — spent their first day together bonding behind-the-scenes.
“This historic birth is a step forward for western lowland gorilla conservation,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO and director of the Los Angeles Zoo. “For the first time in over two decades, Angelenos will now have a unique opportunity to watch this gorilla baby grow up at the LA Zoo. I want to thank our dedicated animal care and animal health teams who have worked tirelessly monitoring N’djia and her baby’s progress.”
Moving forward, animal care staff will allow N’djia and her newborn to have the choice to join father, 32-year-old male silverback gorilla Kelly, and the rest of the troop on exhibit or remain behind-the-scenes.
While N’djia may choose to remain resting with her baby away from public viewing, guests may get a glimpse of them as N’djia and her baby begin to explore and move around Campo Gorilla Reserve over the coming weeks. Animal care and animal health staff will continue to closely monitor N’djia and her baby’s health and development. Zoo officials will also continue to update the public on N’djia and her baby’s journey.
Guests can visit the Campo Gorilla Reserve exhibit daily and may be lucky enough to see N’djia, Kelly, and their baby along with their companions Rapunzel (35) and Evelyn (43) at the Campo Gorilla Reserve exhibit daily, weather permitting.
For the latest updates on N’djia’s birth story and her baby’s development, follow along at @lazoo or #lazoo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.