Escondido, California - A new mother gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park ventured outdoors this morning for the first time with her 13-day-old baby girl. The mother, Imani, and baby were only physically introduced to each other 24 hours earlier, and this was the first time the other gorillas in the troop were able to be in close proximity with the mother and baby.
The animal care team offered Imani access to the outdoor exhibit with the remainder of the gorilla troop coming outside shortly afterward. Imani walked into the exhibit, cradling her baby, and began foraging and eating some greens. She then found a warm alcove and nursed her baby. The other gorillas - an adult male, three adult females, and two young males - appeared remotely curious about the baby, with Monroe, the troop's 2-year-old male, showing the most interest.
The baby was born at the Safari Park on March 12 after an emergency C-section was needed. Since the physical introduction occurred, Imani has been extremely attached, holding and constantly carrying her infant.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts representing both plants and animals at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.