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DNA shared between humans and gorillas

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FROM THE KEEPER BLOG

Great Ape Updates

01/25/2017

Philadelphia Zoo's 17-year-old female western lowland gorilla, Kira, continues her journey to motherhood smoothly and healthily.

Just as all human woman experience pregnancy differently, the same can be said for gorillas. Unlike Honi, Kira has not experienced any morning sickness or food cravings. Interestingly, as Kira continues to progress with her pregnancy, our expectant gorilla mom does not require any additional calories until the baby is born, and continues to maintain her healthy appetite for produce, leafy greens and chow.

Although this is the first pregnancy for Kira, Philadelphia Zoo's primate staff believe she is well-prepared to be a first-time mother. Kira was an excellent older sister and care-giver for her younger siblings before her arrival in Philadelphia. She has also benefited from observing, Honi, throughout her pregnancy, delivery and continued nurturing of baby Amani.

The new baby will be Amani's half-sibling through Motuba.

Amani, will be 5 months old on January 26 and continues to develop into an active and inquisitive gorilla. Amani still travels primarily on Honi's arms or legs but is quickly on the move once her mother puts her down. Keen to explore her surroundings, Amani can often be seen crawling around to investigate new toys throughout the exhibit and sample various solid foods.