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Uzumma and baby reach new heights as they explore the outdoors

Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications
Photos and video by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

They say nature and adorable animals are therapeutic, so here you go Seattle! #WeGotThisSeattle
Uzumma and her 9-day-old baby ventured outdoors for the better part of an hour yesterday, March 12. With temperatures warm enough, and even a few sun breaks, it was the right time to let Uzumma soak up the outdoors with her baby. 

Uzumma is an excellent mama and is keeping her newborn close.

Pictured here at just 8-days-old, the baby gorilla soaks up some warm spring sun with mom, Uzumma.
Of course, it was no surprise when the new mom climbed up to the tiptop of the climbing structure with her baby secured safely under her arm. Keepers tell us that while it might look scary from below, the first-time-mom is a confident climber. Uzumma made more than a few trips up the structure to take in the view and get a good look around. The other members of Uzumma's group continue to give mom and baby lots of space, although they all enjoyed the sunshine and spending time outside together. 

Baby is snug and cozy as mom begins her climb.

Uzumma takes in the view from one of her favorite treetop lookouts... baby in tow!

Baby boy doesn't seem to mind the heights as long as he is in mom's arms.
Baby gorillas are expert grippers, holding onto mom's thick fur while she walks, climbs and forages for food. This essential skill keeps the baby close to mom while she goes about her business, and for Uzumma that means getting her climb on!


Our dedicated gorilla keepers say Uzumma continues to show all the benchmarks of a wonderful first-time mother. She is nursing her baby and tending to all of his needs. She’s a very attentive mama and is relaxed and confident with her baby. Kim Szawan, animal care manager, tells us "The infant is starting to hold his head up on his own which is a great sign that he is strong and getting the correct nutrients from mom."

Uzumma enjoyed her time outside and a special snack of camellia—the perfect early spring treat!
The baby also seems to have inherited his mother's love of heights, and seems unfazed after descending back to Earth safely in mom's arms. The tiny gorilla is very curious about his surroundings and seems to be enjoying the new views—in between snuggling and bonding with mom, naps in her soft fur and filling his belly.

Uzumma cradles her baby as she confidently navigates the climbing structure.
Hello, sweet baby.
All of our animals are healthy and doing well, and the new gorilla family is no exception. Animal keepers continue to provide them with dedicated, professional care day in and out and we are so grateful for our team.

To learn more about gorilla conservation and how your visit directly supports our mission to help these endangered species, please visit

Gorilla kisses are the best.
It may be a bit before visitors can see mom and baby, but we promise to keep you updated on the baby's milestones right here or by following our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We can't wait to share #GrowingUpGorilla with you!

You can also follow along on our dedicated page:

#GrowingUpGorilla means sticking close to mom.
There is nothing sweeter than this mama gorilla hold! 


Mickey said…
Adorable! And love how she pats her baby's boy back.
LoveApes said…
This is so kind of you to send us these uplifting photos, particularly for those of us who are shut in. Thank you to Jeremy and to the communications team.
Anita Elder said…
I remember when Uzumma was a baby herself. It warms my heart to see how good of a mom she is!
Courtenay said…
AWWWW! I MISS my regular Thursday morning shifts. Hope everyone is following the social distance rule so we can get back to some semblance of normal ASAP.
Unknown said…
Is Nadira still with you? I have a lovely picture of her as a baby in 1990?
Katherine said…
This is so cute! Thank you for making our day.
Kate S. said…
LOVED seeing these photos! Thank you for sharing and for caring for these special animals. I wonder what they think about the absence of all of us visitors??
Unknown said…
Absolutely priceless photos! Now please can you post more recent photos and video? We who yearn for the zoo to eventually reopen are suffering gorilla "withdrawal" in the absence of visiting. I appreciate that you all have stressful, busy days, but please help us follow Uzumma and son = 0
Asante sana
Unknown said…
Oh please, please post updates about Uzumma and babe for mid-April. Since we understand why the zoo is closed, we nonetheless are all going through withdrawal without new info. and photos of how they're doing now. When you have time... Thank you, asante sana.