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Woodland Park Zoo gorilla Nadiri gives birth to healthy baby girl

The newborn is the 15th gorilla born at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Mom and baby are healthy and remain under close care by zoo veterinary staff.

SEATTLE — The Woodland Park Zoo has welcomed its newest member of the western lowland gorilla family. 

After an eight to nine month pregnancy, 24-year-old Nadiri gave birth at 10:25 a.m. on Jan. 29. The baby girl is the second baby for Nadiri, and the first between her and dad, 21-year-old Kwame, the zoo wrote on its blog.

The baby is doing well and is currently under round-the-clock care from zoo gorilla and veterinary staff because Nadiri has not picked up her baby to nurse yet, but zoo officials said Nadiri did the same thing with her first baby in 2015 and eventually her maternal instincts kicked in.

“We will continue to provide hands-on care while keeping the baby in close proximity to Nadiri 24/7 and attempting to reintroduce her to mom,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. 

For now, Nadiri has visual, auditory and olfactory contact with her baby. The first 72 hours of life are the most critical for a newborn gorilla, according to zoo officials. 

“We will continue to introduce Nadiri to her baby. She is staying close and has picked up her baby for short periods over the weekend, but has not shown any interest in nursing her," said Ramirez. "By doing short introduction sessions frequently throughout each day, we hope her maternal instinct will soon kick in.”

Nadiri and her gorilla group will remain in the off-view dens so she can remain with her family, including her first daughter Yola. 

The new baby gorilla is the 15th gorilla born at Woodland Park Zoo.