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Baby watch begins... Gorilla Nadiri is due any day now!

Posted by Elizabeth Bacher, Communications

Nadiri is in the final days of her second pregnancy. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Once again, it’s an exciting time for our western lowland gorilla family as the birth watch begins for our next baby. We announced last October that 24-year-old Nadiri is pregnant with her second infant, and her official birth watch is now underway. Technically Nadiri’s due date falls between late January and early February, but without knowing exactly when she became pregnant it is hard to pinpoint a specific date. The gestation period for gorillas is eight to nine months which is similar to humans. 

Nadiri is in the final days of her second pregnancy. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The new baby will be the second for both Nadiri and 21-year-old Kwame, but their first together. Nadiri gave birth to Yola, who was sired by Vip, a little more than 5 years ago. Because Nadiri was partially human-raised as an infant and had no experience as a mom, she didn’t know what to do when she gave birth back in 2015. That means Yola’s first months were spent in the care of her dedicated keepers who constantly stayed in close proximity to Nadiri. Slowly but surely, they helped Nadiri bond with her baby while her maternal instincts kicked in—ultimately allowing both of them to be fully integrated back into the gorilla family. We are confident that, as an experienced mom now, Nadiri will know exactly what to do this time—but we’re preparing for every possible scenario, just in case. 

Nadiri in 2016 with daughter Yola, who is now 5 years old. Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

During this birth watch period, zoo volunteers will be able to remotely monitor the expectant mom via cameras installed in Nadiri’s bedroom. They will collect data and look for any telltale signs of behavioral changes that might indicate the onset of labor. While volunteers are on the overnight shift, a gorilla keeper is always on call to respond just in case Nadi goes into labor in the wee hours. This monitoring schedule will continue until the birth. 

Watch new video of Nadiri here:

Kwame is an experienced dad now, having sired Kitoko with 13-year-old female Uzumma last March. He has proven himself to be a gentle, playful and patient father to the nearly 1-year-old boy. Once Nadiri gives birth the infant will be a half-sister or brother for both little Kitoko and 5-year-old Yola—and we fully expect the next months and years to be filled with lots of playful and mischievous antics for both the youngsters and adults! 

Silverback Kwame is an experienced and patient father. Here he shares breakfast with his young son, Kitoko. Photo: Woodland Park Zoo

Nadiri and Kwame were paired under the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, which is a cooperative, conservation breeding program across zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of the species. Two groups of gorillas currently live at the zoo. Group one: Kwame, Nadiri, Yola, Uzumma, Kitoko and Akenji. Group two: Vip and Jumoke.

How to Help Gorillas

Gorillas in the wild typically live in groups of 5 to 10, composed of a dominant silverback (adult male), several adult females, adolescents, juveniles and babies. Sometimes groups can consist of two to more than 50 family members.

Every visit to Woodland Park Zoo supports conservation of animals in the wild. Join the zoo by recycling old cell phones and other used handheld electronics through ECO-CELL to help preserve gorilla habitat. Reclaiming the minerals in electronics and diverting them from landfills help reduce demand for mining in gorilla habitat. Drop off used handheld electronics including cell phones, smartphones, iPods, iPads, tablets, adapters, chargers, MP3 players, handheld gaming systems and their accessories at drop boxes located at both zoo entrances or the gorilla overlook. Funds generated from ECO-CELL support the Mondika Gorilla Project and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. 

Gorillas: the Largest Ape in the World
  • Gorillas belong to the family of great apes: gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo and orangutan. Apes are found only in Africa and Asia.
  • Gorillas are muscular and very powerful. Adult males weigh between 350 and 600 pounds. Adult females weigh between 150 and 300 pounds.
  • Gorillas are primarily vegetarian. They eat leaves, other vegetation and fruits. Occasionally they’ll even snack on termites and ants!
  • The estimated population of western lowland gorillas in the wild is about 300,000. Woodland Park Zoo is open—visit now! Go to to purchase timed-entry tickets.
Growing Up Gorilla 

To follow Nadiri's progress, news about her baby after the birth, and updates about little Kitoko, the youngster who was born last March, go to

Becoming a ZooParent

ZooParent adoptions—which can include a plush toy—are the perfect gift for budding conservationists. Your ZooParent adoption helps us provide exceptional care for all of Woodland Park Zoo's amazing animals. Plus, your support contributes to our conservation efforts at the zoo and around the world.

A gorilla ZooParent adoption can include a plush toy. Adopt today!