First baby gorilla born at Calgary Zoo in six years

First baby gorilla born at Calgary Zoo in six years

Dossi, the 21-year-old gorilla at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, gave birth to a baby on Wednesday morning.

The zoo said Dossi is showing great early mothering skills. Jasiri, a 23-year-old male with a silver back, is the baby’s father. The sex of the baby gorilla has not yet been determined.

“Dossi, Jasiri, the baby and the group are all adjusting to the newest member of the family and the Animal Care, Health and Welfare team will be closely watching and supporting them every moment along the way.”

Gorillas are a social species and develop close family bonds. Dossi, Jasiri and the child are together with the rest of the gorilla group in the main habitat, the zoo said.

The zoo is home to six adult gorillas. The last successful gorilla birth at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo was Kimani, who was born in 2016.

This birth represents important genetic diversity within the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Program, the zoo said.

Wild gorilla populations have declined by 80% over the past 30 years because of poaching and habitat destruction, primarily for the mineral coltan, which is used in cell phone production, the zoo said.