Baby gorilla born at Brookfield Zoo has 'wild' genes through mom, dad

November 6, 2013 (BROOKFIELD, Ill.)

Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World is as quiet as a new baby's nursery these days. Early Monday morning, Koola, 18, gave birth to a beautiful little baby gorilla.

"Everything looks really good. It's a female baby, which is very good. That's very positive for the entire gorilla population," Craig Demitros, associate curator of primates, said. "Mom and baby doing well. Everybody looks healthy and I think we're going pretty well."

The western lowland gorilla population is growing at Brookfield Zoo, where there are now six members of the critically endangered species: four females and two males, including JoJo, the new father. Koola and her new baby don't move around a lot but they can be seen spending lots of cuddle time hanging out between her two favorite trees.

"She seems to go back and forth, building a nest right down near the base of those two trees," Demitros said.

JoJo spent most of his life at Lincoln Park Zoo, but is at Brookfield Zoo for breeding purposes. He doesn't seem too interested in his new daughter. He's leaving all that to mom. But as the baby grows, zoo staff says JoJo will interact more.

So everything is going great for Koola and her little baby, who already has "it" in her bloodlines.

"Both the mother and the father have wild ancestors in their heritage. So the baby is very genetically valuable. JoJo is one of the high ranking males genetically in the population and the mother is also high ranking so it's an excellent genetic match."

She is the seventeenth baby gorilla born at Brookfield Zoo since the late sixties.

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