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Gorilla baby expected in early September

Guess who's having a baby!!

Gorilla Pregnancy

Philadelphia Zoo is pleased to announce that Honi, a 21-year-old western lowland gorilla, is pregnant and the baby is expected early fall. Honi’s pregnancy was confirmed through an over-the-counter home pregnancy test, the same used by humans.

Through well-established training programs at the Zoo, the staff successfully obtained ultrasound images of the baby. Honi actively cooperated with the veterinary staff holding her belly up to the mesh while zookeepers and vets conducted the ultrasound examination.

There are five western lowland gorillas at Philadelphia Zoo: 31-year-old Motuba, 21-year-old Honi, 17-year-old Louis, 16-year-old Kira and 13-year-old Kuchimba, who is also Honi’s son. Motuba, the gorilla troop’s silverback, is the baby’s father. The new baby will be among the first generation of animals to grow up and explore through Zoo360, the Zoo’s a first-in-the-world animal travel and exploration system.

Philadelphia Zoo is thrilled visitors will have a unique opportunity to share in Honi’s pregnancy and delight in the joy of watching the baby as it is born and grows up to become a member of our amazing gorilla troop. The new baby, like all of the Zoo’s gorillas, will play a vital role in educating guests about environmental advocacy and the protection of this endangered species.

Primate keeper Kristen Farley-Rambo will be blogging throughout Honi's pregnancy, so be sure to continue to check back for updates!

Question & Answer with Kristen Farley-Rambo, Primate Keeper

How long does the typical gorilla pregnancy last?

Female gorillas are pregnant for about 8.5 months and typically give birth to one baby at a time.

About what size will the newborn gorilla be?

Newborn gorillas weigh only about 3-5 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg) at birth (about half the weight of a newborn human).

Will you be able to tell that Honi is pregnant?

Because Honi is on the slender side, it is likely that she will begin to show as the pregnancy progresses. Gorillas already have big bellies to aid in digestion, so to the untrained eye, she won’t look pregnant for quite some time.


Interested in learning more about Western lowland gorillas?


Honi's Baby Blog

Follow along with Honi's Journey through pregnancy as Primary Primate Keeper, Kristen Farley-Rambo updates Honi's Baby Blog!