Baby Male Gorilla at San Diego Zoo

baby-gorilla-san-diego-zooA week-old gorilla is attracting crowds at the San Diego Zoo, where guests are eager to get a peek at the newborn. The male infant was born early in the morning on Dec. 26 to mother Jessica, 34, and father Paul Donn, 25. This is Jessica’s first offspring with Paul Donn, who has previously sired three offspring. Jessica, an experienced mother, has had five previous offspring, all of whom were male.

Guests visiting the Zoo can see Jessica carrying her infant, who weighs just a few pounds, and holding him closely to her chest. The experienced mother has been bringing her baby to a glass viewing area, which is lined with outdoor heaters, where guests can observe the pair as she spends time cradling and nursing the youngster.

“Mom has been doing really great. She’s holding her baby and pats the baby all the time,” said Nerissa Foland, senior keeper at the Zoo. “The other troop members have been curious. They come over and inspect the baby, but he’s pretty much staying with Mom at this point, since he’s so new.”

Jessica forages for food items with the rest of the troop, tightly hanging onto her infant while searching for scattered food items. Keepers at the San Diego Zoo place food items in different areas throughout the exhibit to encourage the animals to search for food in a way that mimics what they’d do in the wild, providing them with an opportunity to thrive.

This infant is part of a troop that includes silverback leader Paul Donn, mother Jessica, and another female, Ndjia, who is 20 years old. The troop is expected to have access to the outdoor exhibit in the afternoons as long as weather permits.

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