Toledo Zoo announces birth of baby gorilla

Toledo Zoo announces birth of baby gorilla
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo announced the Thanksgiving birth a baby gorilla Tuesday.

The male Western lowland gorilla was born late Thursday or early Friday of last week. His name is Mokonzi, which means governor in Swahili.

Mokonzi is the third child for 23-year-old mother Kitani and the fifth child for his 29-year-old father Kwisha.

"We are always thrilled to announce new additions, but are even more excited to showcase the continuation of our mission of caring for animals and conserving the natural world through new births," said Shayla Moriarty, Toledo Zoo's director of communication. "Helping to maintain insurance populations of endangered species is not only a testament to our outstanding animal care staff, but also to our Species Survival Plan partnerships and the support of our members and visitors. We are excited to watch this little gorilla grow and for future generations to appreciate these amazing creatures,"

The zoo says the Mokonzi is healthy and bonding with his parents. He and his family will be on exhibit indoors at Kingdom of the Apes Wednesday, November 29.

The zoo says baby gorillas are only about four pounds and have a white tuft of hair on their rump. That hair will remain with the gorilla until they are about four-years-old. Baby gorillas also have the ability to grasp their mother's chest while she moves around.

Gorillas grow up quite fast with offspring being able to crawl and move at about three months. They also have the ability to ride on their mother's back until they are about four.

Eventually, Mokonzi will grow to be about four to six feet tall and could weigh between 150 to 500 pounds.

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