Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Western lowland gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta

The great ape whose name has become synonymous with motherhood has a new outlet for her considerable parenting skills. Kuchi, a 25-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth to an infant overnight. The newborn is the third offspring for Kuchi and 20-year-old silverback Taz, who is also the father of fraternal twins Kali and Kazi, 4.

“Kuchi has demonstrated over the years that she is a truly remarkable mother,” says Dr. Dwight Lawson, Senior Vice President of Collections, Education and Conservation. “We’re excited about seeing her demonstrate those qualities with another new baby, and particularly about seeing Kali and Kazi interact with their new sibling.”

With the births of Kali and Kazi in 2005, Kuchi achieved national attention as the only known gorilla in captivity ever to rear twins independently – a distinction she still holds. She also has two adult offspring, Stadi, 19, and Lulu, 10.

Home to the nation’s largest collection of gorillas, Zoo Atlanta has an international reputation for social and behavioral research on the critically endangered species. Kuchi’s infant is the 18th western lowland gorilla born at the Zoo since the opening of The Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.

Kuchi and her new infant are on exhibit now.

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