ATLANTA — It's a tree-swinging baby boy!
Zoo Atlanta announced that their newest baby gorilla was born and named Willie B III.
The western lowland gorilla was born about two weeks ago, earlier than expected, officials said. Despite the early birth, the newborn is healthy, strong and nursing normally.
The baby gorilla was named following tradition, honoring the legacy of his late grandfather, the legendary Willie B. He spent around half his life in an "indoor environment" until the zoo created an outdoor enclosure.
Shalia with Willie B III
Although the newborn is not the first grandchild of Willie B, this is the first child of his son, Willie B. Jr., officials said. His mother, Shalia, became pregnant last year, with officials announcing the good news back in December of 2022.
Officials said guests could look for the baby in Gorilla Habitat 4 in the Zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest. However, "sightings are not guaranteed."
Zoo Atlanta has a “globally recognized program for the care and behavioral study of western lowland gorillas,” according to the release.
The release stated that these types of gorillas are critically endangered due to several factors, including habitat loss, poaching, illegal hunting for the bushmeat trade, and emerging diseases.
Zoo Atlanta is home to one of North America's largest populations of gorillas. Learn more about its conservation program on its website.