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Endangered baby gorilla born at Audubon Zoo

It's the first gorilla birth at the zoo in 24 years.

NEW ORLEANS — There was some good news this past weekend at Audubon Zoo with the birth of a critically-endangered baby gorilla at the zoo.

The staff hasn't been close enough to tell the baby's gender yet, but they do believe it's healthy and doing well.

"Children's Hospital New Orleans is thrilled to celebrate the arrival of the baby gorilla with our partners at Audubon Zoo," said President and Chief Executive Officer at Children's Hospital New Orleans John R. Nickens IV. "The gift of new life during this challenging time is inspiring and uplifting. We look forward to watching the new baby learn and grow through each important milestone." 

This birth is a major event as Audubon Zoo is focused on gorilla conservation efforts.

"These animals struggle significantly in the wild due to disease, poaching, human-gorilla conflict is a big issue,"  said Liz Wilson, Curator of primates, swamp, and jaguar jungle at Audubon Zoo. 

Many gorilla populations have declined or disappeared over the past few decades. Western lowland gorillas like Tumani and baby are critically endangered with a population decline of more than 80 percent.

"With this birth, we're contributing to that overall big picture of gorilla conservation," Wilson said.

Guests can't see baby gorilla in person yet. Mother and baby need time to bond and adjust before making a public appearance.

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 Audubon Zoo has created an online baby registry as a way for the public to get involved in the birth of the infant. Supporters can help shower Tumani and baby with nutritious food, engaging enrichment, and training materials carefully selected by Audubon Zoo's animal care and veterinary team. Follow this link to access Tumani's Baby Shower Registry: https://baby.audubonnatureinstitute.org/