Baby gorilla born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 19:59:58-04

SAN DIEGO - A western lowland gorilla, part of a critically endangered species, was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials announced Thursday.

The female, weighing about four pounds, is the second offspring for mother Kokomo and father Winston. It's the sixth birth overall for Kokomo, including the delivery of twins when she was at the Oklahoma City zoo.

"The baby was born overnight, and the keepers found her in her mother's arms when they came in (Wednesday) morning," said Safari Park lead keeper Peggy Sexton.

Park officials said the baby was seen nursing and all indications are that mother and baby are doing well. She becomes the eighth member of the troop at the park.

According to Sexton, the best time of day to see the baby is around 9 a.m., when the gorillas go on exhibit in the Gorilla Forest.

"The babies are only between 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 pounds, so they're really tiny and the mom's hold them very close to the chest," Sexton said. "Often what you'll see is the little face, and maybe a foot or a hand sticking out."

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.