Zoo Atlanta announces gorilla’s pregnancy, Willie B.’s relative

The new baby is expected to join the Gorilla Squad in the summer of 2023.

Atlanta — The Atlanta Zoo raises herds of western lowland gorillas in a legendary way.

Authorities announced Tuesday that Sharia, a 20-year-old gorilla, is pregnant.

The new baby is a relative of Atlanta Zoo’s most famous gorilla, Willie B. His son, Willie B., Jr., 22, will become a father for the first time in 2023.

Zoo Atlanta’s veterinary and animal care team first detected the pregnancy in November. A gorilla’s gestation period is about eight and a half months. That means the Atlanta Zoo’s new gorilla companion could be born as early as early May. The child will be Sharia’s second child, according to zoo officials. She had previously delivered an infant under the control of another organization.

Sharia isn’t a first-time mom, but she’s at the Atlanta Zoo.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce that Sharia is pregnant. Seeing Willie B. Jr. become a father has come to define the Atlanta Zoo in his lifetime To experience a wonderful new chapter in the story of his father, who still lives on in the memories of countless people in our city, said Raymond B. King, CEO and President of Zoo Atlanta, in a statement. “Importantly, babies will also be new members of endangered species who need our help more than ever.”

Wild western lowland gorilla populations have plummeted in recent years as a result of habitat loss, poaching, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade and emerging diseases, the Atlanta Zoo said. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), these combined threats have reduced wild populations by 60% over 25 years.

Willie B., Jr., whose real name is Kidogo, which means “little” in Swahili, is the third and only male descendant of the iconic Willie B., who died in 2000. His father is Moved from its lonely indoor environment to the Ford African Rain Forest in 1988, it has become a symbol of the Atlanta Zoo’s transformation. Willie B.’s grandson will be his 25th gorilla born at the zoo.

Please wait for a while until the gender announcement.

Zoo Atlanta is one of the largest gorilla habitats in North America. Learn more about our protection program on our website.

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