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Showing posts from July, 2024

New baby thriving under care of expert staff, while focus turns to finding the perfect surrogate gorilla mom

Posted  by Gigi Allianic, Communications Photos: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren Baby blep! This 2-week old boy is thriving under the care of our expert gorilla staff Woodland Park Zoo’s newest baby, a gorilla born on June 28, is healthy, growing and thriving thanks to round-the-clock care by his human caregivers. Gorilla Akenji, the newborn’s 22-year-old first-time mother, has not shown any signs of interest in the baby who remains under 24/7 hands-on care by our expert gorilla staff; the baby, a boy, has not yet been named. For months leading up to his birth, the gorilla staff provided maternal behavioral training to prepare Akenji for motherhood. However, within an hour after Akenji gave birth, the animal care team had to intervene for the baby’s safety and well-being. “Despite our attempts over the past couple weeks to unite Akenji and her baby and encourage bonding, she has repeatedly turned away from him. Because of the trust and bonding we have with each of the gorillas, we can read her c

Snow Leopard Cubs Open Their Eyes for the First Time 

Posted by Craig Newberry, Communications Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo Three snow leopard cubs born at Woodland Park Zoo on Memorial Day continue to grow and have now opened their eyes. The cubs recently underwent their neonate exam where it was learned there is one male cub and two females. All three cubs are healthy, active and becoming cuter each day. The cubs were born to mom Marai, 7, and dad Aibek, 6. This is their first litter of cubs after they were paired under the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan , a cooperative breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of the species. The mom and cubs remain in an off-view maternity den to allow bonding and proper nursing in a quieter setting. Zoo staff closely watch the mother and cubs on a den camera to watch for normal behaviors. It will be several more weeks before the cubs are introduced to the outdoor, on-view exhibit. Since snow leopards are solitary animals in t

It's a boy! Gorilla Akenji gives birth—newborn is currently being hand-reared by gorilla staff

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications That face! Welcome to the world, little one! Photo by Rachel Vass/Woodland Park Zoo Following a nine-month gestation period, the release of ultrasound images, a birth watch that began two weeks ago, and a flurry of excitement around its pregnant gorilla, Woodland Park Zoo is proud to announce that Akenji gave birth on June 28, 2024 at 10:30 a.m. (PT) to her first baby…and it’s a boy! The zoo’s gorilla and animal health staff closely observed the birth and post-birth behaviors in the off-view bedrooms. Unfortunately, Akenji did not show appropriate maternal behaviors despite the months-long maternal skills training the gorilla care team provided. Within an hour after delivery, the animal care team intervened for the baby’s safety and well-being. A neonatal exam was performed to ensure the yet-to-be-named infant was healthy. “The average weight for a gorilla at birth is 4 pounds and we’re pleased to report our new boy weighs 4.4 pounds. His vital s