Kazi, a 12-year-old western lowland gorilla at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, is pregnant with what could be the first infant gorilla to be raised at the zoo.
Kazi is believed to be four to five months into her pregnancy. The gestation period for gorillas is about 37 weeks, the zoo said in a news release. Human gestation averages 40 weeks.
“Kazi is in good health, and her pregnancy is progressing normally,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at the zoo. “First-time gorilla mothers are, however, more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing, so we are cautiously optimistic moving forward.”
In May, an infant gorilla at the zoo died after being born in the breech position. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says infant gorillas born to first-time mothers have an 80% survival rate.
The father of Kazi’s baby, a 22-year-old silverback named Cenzoo, fathered a son in 2005 at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.
Western lowland gorillas are considered critically endangered, with about 100,000 remaining in the wild. Riverbanks’ western lowland gorilla family arrived in 2015 as part of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan, in which the AZA is a partner.