Alice, a 12-year-old gorilla, will soon give birth to the first member of her species born in Como Zoo’s more than 100-year history. The first-time mother has entered her birth window, which officially began on October 18, and continues into early December.
But it is Dara, Como’s other pregnant gorilla that is providing us with great shots of her fetus via ultrasound video. As part of a daily training session with the gorillas, Dara, whose birth window is between December 18 and February 1, 2015, recently presented her belly to the zookeepers in order to get this rare video. The baby gorilla can be seen moving in Dara’s womb with features what are thought to be either arms or perhaps legs visible.
“This ultrasound shows that the baby is doing well and the pregnancy is progressing as it should,” said Senior Zookeeper Jo Kelly.
Alice (12) and Dara (11) both recently came to Como Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP).The Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) serves 52 zoos across the United States to help guide the management of the gorilla population. Although their primary role is in population management, the SSP is ultimately interested in the health and well-being of all gorillas, including those living outside accredited zoos and in the wild. Western lowland gorillas are highly endangered due to loss of habitat, poaching, and disease.
Gorilla Forest at Como Zoo is home to seven gorillas: three bachelor males—Jabir, Samson, and Virgil (all 15 years-old), and a family group consisting of soon-to-be father Schroeder, Alice, Dara and another female, Nne (pronounced E-nee) who is 26.