Baby endangered gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta

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Zoo Atlanta welcomed a very special addition to its animal family earlier this week.

Thursday, the zoo announced that Lulu a 19-year-old western lowland gorilla, gave birth on July 24.

The newborn is Lulu's second surviving offspring and the 11th for its dad, 30-year-old silverback Taz.


The zoo shared two adorable photos of the baby snuggled close to Lulu as she cradles it in her arms.

What makes this birth special is that the western lowland gorilla is critically endangered, the zoo said. Over a 25-year period, poaching, habitat loss, and disease have reduced the number of gorillas by as much as 90 percent of some areas of western Africa.

The new baby gorilla, whose name and gender have not been released, is the 24th gorilla born at Zoo Atlanta since the zoo opened the Ford African Rain Forest in 1988.

The baby comes from a famous line of gorillas in Atlanta. Its grandfather was the late Willie B, the first gorilla to live at the zoo starting in 1961.

Zoo Atlanta now has one of the largest populations of gorillas in North America as well as two of the world's oldest gorillas: 56-year-old Choomba and 58-year-old Ozzie.