Philadelphia Zoo gorillas Jabari and Kira will start family

Jabari was selected by Philadelphia Zoo officials to mate with Kira, also a western lowland gorilla, who will soon be leaving Franklin Park Zoo. (Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Zoo).
Jabari was selected by Philadelphia Zoo officials to mate with Kira. Credit: Philadelphia Zoo

It’s been about a month since Kira and Jabari, two gorillas at the Philadelphia Zoo, were introduced in hopes they would breed. And things are going more smoothly than zoo officials could have imagined.

“We were very pleasantly surprised,” said Kristen Farley-Rambo, gorilla keeper at the zoo. “There has been no aggression, no fighting. They were all very interested.”

Kira is a newcomer to Philly, having been transported here from Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. She traveled down the Turnpike in June to meet a male, Jabari, and hopefully produce offspring.

When Kira first came to Philly, she was kept separate from the other gorillas, taught the lay of the land and introduced to her new group with mesh curtains where she could see and smell the other primates but not have direct contact. Kira took so well to the others, the preliminary introductions didn’t last very long.

“They have several bedrooms,” said Meredith Bastian, curator of primate and small mammals said, “and they would often be in the same one.”

Farley-Rambo started training with Kira — asking her to present different body parts and giving her back scratches. The interaction is for medical reasons and to form relationships with the trainers.

“It’s enrichment,” she said. “They love training. They get fruit for it.”

Kira has been living with the other gorillas since the beginning of July and was taken off contraceptives a couple weeks later.

“We’ve seen some promising behavior,” she said.

The two have already started mating. Farley-Rambo said Kira is “very interested” in Jabari. The two gorillas are a good match, genetically, both zoo officials said.

“These gorillas are critically endangered,” Bastian said. “We are trying to keep them a viable population. And it’s to educate people about their counterparts in the wild.”

There’s a chance Kira could be pregnant already; she’ll get a pregnancy test in a couple of weeks. If she is, Kira will work closely with the zoo’s veterinary department and continue living with the group. She’s already shown signs of being a good mother.

“She never has had kids of her own but she did play a very large role with her siblings,” Farley-Rambo said. “So we’re really excited that she’s set up for being a first-time mom.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Drive charged in fatal hit and run, police…

The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for a fatal hit and run in Manhattan last weekend. Doohee Cho, 33, was hit…

Local

Mayor de Blasio raises minimum wage for some…

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday morning that will raise the minimum wage for workers employed by private companies that receive more…

National

3 myths about the working poor

Linda Tirado works to debunk some common stereotypes about the working poor in her new book, "Hand to Mouth."

Money

Lawsuit funding advances: friend or foe?

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Many plaintiffs awaiting resolution of their lawsuit or legal claim often find themselves in a tricky financial…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

Entertainment

Interview: Metro chats with filmmaker Meir Kalmanson, man…

A New York filmmaker hands out smiles to its residents.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 30: 'Selfie,' 'Utopia'…

'Selfie' This modern day take on the "My Fair Lady" story stars John Cho in the Henry Higgins role. Perhaps instead of "the rain in…

Music

Can't-miss weekend events continue to attract the masses

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article Earlier this summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware.…

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Chargers climb

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

Style

Products that support breast cancer awareness and research

Asics GT-1000, $100 Asics’ third pink collection in collaboration with Christina Applegate’s Right Action for Women includes this pink-accented version of its best-selling GT-1000 3…

Wellbeing

Dr. Marisa Weiss: Where we stand on breast…

As an oncologist and a survivor herself, Dr. Marisa Weiss knows the urgency felt by those diagnosed with breast cancer. Genetic testing has accelerated the…

Wellbeing

Bees' stingers hold new hope for cancer cure

A promising new lead in the search for a cancer cure has turned up in a place that most people naturally avoid. A team from…

Home

Emily Henderson on small space design

Design expert Emily Henderson shows us how to upgrade our cramped quarters.