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Oklahoma City Zoo welcomes newborn gorilla

The Oklahoma City Zoo's newest gorilla was born Thursday morning and is doing well, zoo staff said. Its sex has not yet been determined.
by Matt Patterson Published: February 15, 2013

/articleid/3755998/1/pictures/1955234">Photo - Kelele holds her baby at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Friday afternoon. The baby was born early Valentine's Day morning. The sex of the baby isn't known yet. PHOTO PROVIDED BY OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO <strong>PROVIDED - PROVIDED</strong>
Kelele holds her baby at the Oklahoma City Zoo on Friday afternoon. The baby was born early Valentine's Day morning. The sex of the baby isn't known yet. PHOTO PROVIDED BY OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO PROVIDED - PROVIDED

Zoo staff will be on hand to answer questions about the baby and mother, and updates will be provided on the zoo's Twitter account.

Keepers are monitoring the baby and mother 24 hours a day.

The birth of the baby is significant for the overall gorilla population in zoos, but also for those who work closely with the gorillas and who cared for Bom Bom during his life.

“It's a huge deal for everyone here and at other zoos, but it's also very significant for us because of who the baby's father is,” Bottaro said.

The zoo also has added Togo, a 24-year-old adult male silverback, who arrived before Christmas and has been in quarantine.

Togo is currently being integrated into the zoo's gorilla troop.

He was transferred from the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minn. The move was recommended by the Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

The zoo had sought another male silverback after Bom Bom died.

“Once a male in a population has moved or passes away, another male that predominantly has been a bachelor may have the opportunity to become a leader of a family-type troop,” curator Robin Newby said.

“This also ensures diversity within the total gorilla population.”

by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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