TAMPA, Fla. – A 33-year-old Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) named Kishina gave birth last November to a 5-pound male with the help of medical professionals from Tampa General Hospital. It was the first gorilla birth in Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s 46-year history.
“There haven’t been very many caesarians in great apes, so to have a baby boy come out and do well was wonderful,” said veterinarian Dr. John Olsen.
The birth brings to seven the number of gorillas in the park’s Myombe Reserve® habitat, a 3-acre rainforest environment opened in 1992. Busch Gardens had been working on breeding these endangered primates for several years, but it took the introduction of two new males from the Denver Zoo in 2003 – 30-year old Koundu (Koon-doo), and his son Cenzoo (Sen-zoo), 9 – to create the right social setting for the park’s females. The transfer was part of the internationally recognized Species Survival Plan (SSP) administered by members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are intended to maintain the genetic diversity of endangered species.
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