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Baby gorilla born at The Buffalo Zoo

Kelly Brown/The Buffalo Zoo

Keepers and staff at The Buffalo Zoo are going ape over the birth of a baby gorilla. The western lowland gorilla was born to 12-year-old Lily, a first-time mother, and 26-year-old male Koga Wednesday. Zookeepers believe the ape is a girl, though they haven't been able to get close enough to determine its gender. 

The Zoo says the mother is showing strong maternal instincts. Both mother and baby are said to be doing well.

The baby joins the Zoo's growing gorilla troop, which includes two other females, Sydney and Amari.

Lily's pregnancy was closely monitored by keepers using ultrasound technology. She was trained to keep calm and present her abdomen during the process, eliminating the need for anesthesia.

The Buffalo Zoo says it is one of the only zoos to have successfully measured the development of a western lowland gorilla in utero, providing valuable research into gorilla study and husbandry.

The new family is being given access to extra privacy, but visitors may be able to see the baby as soon as this weekend.

Western lowland gorillas, found in the tropical forests of Central Africa, are considered critically endangered due to loss of habitat and the bush meat trade.

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