COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's a boy! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has announced the birth of a healthy baby gorilla weighing 5 pounds.
He was born May 23, 2013 at 3:22 a.m. This is the first baby for parents Oliver and Kambera.
As a new mom, Kambera's maternal skills are lacking with her newborn son, the zoo said. So experts at the Columbus Zoo have stepped in to give the new baby abundant neonatal care and nurturing. They hope the baby and his mother can be reunited soon. There are several other female gorillas at the zoo that could act as a surrogate mother, if needed.
Kambera herself was born at the Columbus Zoo, back in 1999. In fact, she was delivered through one of the first successful caesarean sections ever performed on a gorilla. Kambera's mother was unable to care for her after she was born. The staff at the Columbus Zoo raised her until she was about 5 months old. At that point a surrogate gorilla mother took over.
New dad Oliver is deaf and it is believed he lost his hearing when he was young. The 24-year-old arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2009. For Oliver, his move to the Columbus Zoo brought about his first socialization with other gorillas since he was 6 years old.
"The birth of a gorilla baby, actually any baby, is always a momentous event," said Tom Stalf, president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. "But what really touches our hearts is that Oliver, who came here after living by himself for so many years, has produced a beautiful baby boy."