Honi and her new babyprovided

A baby gorilla made its public debut on Wednesday atthe Philadelphia Zoo.

 

Honi, a 21-year-old western lowland gorilla born in the Bronx Zoo, gave birth on Friday. The sex is unknown because mama is holding her newborn too closely for staff to check, but both mom and baby appear healthy, according to a zoo press release.

 

Honi and 31-year-old Motuba are the proud parents of the first baby gorilla born in the zoo in about 20 years. The family and another female gorilla, Kira, live in the PecoPrimate Preserve.

 

We want to thank so many for your outpouring of support and genuine excitement around the birth of a new baby gorilla at the Zoo. We are truly amazed and humbled. In the coming weeks, as the baby's gender is determined, we will be working with our thoughtful and committed keeper staff to develop suggested names that we would like help from our community in finalizing. So please stay tuned - once we have names for consideration, we will let you know so that you can weigh in and vote for your favorite!

 

A photo posted by Philadelphia Zoo (@philadelphiazoo) on

 

“We are very excited to welcome Honi’s new baby,” Philadelphia ZooCOOAndy Bakersaid. “The Zoo works with the Species Survival Plan breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, whose goal is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA zoos, to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability. This birth is an opportunity to engage our visitors in caring about the future of gorillas in the wild.”

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The yet unnamed baby gorilla will most likely remain at the zoo for a while— young gorillas typically stay with their mothers for seven to 10 years.

The Philadelphia Zoo said it plans to announce a naming contest, but the World Wide Web already has some ideas.