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Pregnant gorilla has Calgary Zoo officials “cautiously optimistic”

CALGARY – The Calgary Zoo is preparing to welcome a small western lowland gorilla this spring.

The zoo announced that 12-year-old Yewande is expected with a due date in early May.

“We are cautiously optimistic as this is Yewande’s first baby,” said Jamie Dorgan, director of animal care, in a statement released Monday. “This is the first baby gorilla since Kimani’s birth in 2016 and the first offspring of the new silver-backed male at the Calgary Zoo, Jasiri.”

According to zoo officials, extensive training is ongoing with the expectant mother to ensure she is comfortable when the baby arrives.

“There are many challenges ahead of us in successfully helping Yewande give birth to a healthy baby and mastering the troop family dynamics, but the animal care team will be there to help her any moment along the way.”

The veterinary team will not intervene directly in the birth unless there is reason to believe that the baby’s health and wellbeing are being affected.

Ultrasound of the western lowland gorilla is expected to arrive at the Calgary Zoo in May. (Image: Calgary Zoo)

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