BROOKFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Whatever you do, don’t make any jokes about Brookfield Zoo’s newest gorilla “monkeying around” — gorillas are apes, not monkeys, and probably hate puns.
18-year-old western lowland gorilla Koola gave birth to a female at Brookfield Zoo on Monday, November 4th. Both mother and baby are doing well.
You can see photos of Brookfield Zoo’s newest addition here.
Koola and her new baby girl will live in the Tropic World: Africa exhibit with Koola’s daughter Kamba, Koola’s mother Binti — who became famous in 1996 for picking up and protecting a child who fell into the gorilla exhibit — and JoJo, the 33-year-old father of the infant.
According to the Chicago Zoological Society, the organization that runs Brookfield Zoo, the baby gorilla has a strong grip and clings well to her mother. In a matter of months, zoo patrons will be able to see the baby riding on Koola’s back.
The baby’s sire, JoJo, isn’t just any lowland gorilla — he’s considered one of the most genetically valuable males in the zoo population. He arrived at Brookfield Zoo from Lincoln Park Zoo in May 2012 thanks to the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Gorilla Species Survival Plan.
“We are extremely pleased that JoJo has successfully assumed the role as the silverback or leader of Brookfield Zoo’s gorilla group and has made a positive impact since his arrival,” said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society. “This infant represents an important contribution to the gorilla population in North American zoos. We hope that when zoo guests see the infant and her family members they will be inspired to care for this critically endangered species.”