The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gorilla Babe Expected At The Louisville Zoo In March

Pregnancy tests have confirmed that Mia Mojo, a 20-year-old western lowland gorilla, will give birth by late March, Louisville Zoo officials have announced.

The father is her Gorilla Forest mate, a 22-year-old silverback named Mshindi. It will be Mshindi's first offspring and Mia Moja's second. Zoo officials said she proved to be a good mother with the birth and raising of Olympia, who was born at Zoo Atlanta in 1996 and still lives there.

This will be the second gorilla birth at the Louisville Zoo.

The first was a male named Azizi who was born in 2003, a year after the zoo's Gorilla Forest opened.

A gorilla's gestation period is about nine months, and the babies usually weigh at least 4 pounds.

Mia Mojo's pregnancy “is significant news,” said zoo director John Walczak. “The western lowland gorilla is a critically endangered species, and the wild population has declined rapidly over the past decade.”

He said the pregnancy and birth also will help promote the zoo's conservation mission.

Walczak said the pregnancy also demonstrates that the forest exhibit, as designed, replicates the gorillas' natural habitat and is conducive to reproduction.

He said the mating of the two gorillas is consistent with the guidelines of the North American zoo Species Survival Plan, a collaborative effort of the zoos that tracks gorilla mating. The guidelines are designed to encourage a healthy gorilla population in captivity and to ensure that the population remains genetically diverse.

There are only 353 western lowland gorillas in 52 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are about 100,000 western lowland gorillas in the wild, but an accurate census is elusive, because the apes inhabit some of Africa's densest and most remote rainforests.

The zoo's Gorilla Forest and veterinary team are monitoring Mia Moja closely “to make sure her activity level stays up, and she continues to eat and take her pre-natal vitamins,” said Steve Wing, the zoo's general curator. “We want to make sure she is strong and healthy and that this will be a successful pregnancy and birth.”

For more information on all11 Louisville Zoo gorillas, visit The zoo is operating on its winter schedule. Entry hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with exhibits closing at 5 p.m.


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