ATLANTA — Zoo Atlanta welcomed the newest addition to their troop of western lowland gorillas.
The gorilla was born Monday, April 24, from Willie B Jr. and Shalia.
The newborn was born two weeks earlier than expected, but officials said they are healthy, strong and nursing normally. Currently, the sex of the gorilla is not yet known.
Although the newborn is not the first grandchild of the legendary late Willie B, this is the first child of his son, Willie B. Jr., officials said. Shalia’s pregnancy was announced back in December of 2022.
“The Willie B. legacy is a uniquely Atlanta tradition. Generations of Atlantans grew up with Willie B. and later his children and grandchildren, making connections not only with gorillas but also with a story that has become symbolic of the evolution of Zoo Atlanta,” Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B. King said in a release.
Zoo Atlanta has a “globally recognized program for the care and behavioral study of western lowland gorillas,” according to the release.
These types of gorillas are critically endangered due to several factors including habitat loss, poaching, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade and emerging diseases, the release stated.
Zoo Atlanta is home to one of the largest populations of gorillas in North America. Learn more about its conservation program on its website.
Photos | Newborn gorilla