Asheboro, NC-- The North Carolina Zoo population is about to expand again.
Thursday, also Valentine's Day, Zoo officials announced that the third of its female gorillas is expecting a baby in early summer. If successful, it will mean all three female gorillas will have given birth at the State Zoo in less than a year.
This summer 18-year-old female gorilla, "Acacia," is expected to give birth between mid-June and late July. Zookeepers say several recent positive pregnancy tests have confirmed the pending birth.
In August of 2012 two gorillas were born over a four-week period, which is rare for the the park.
On August 4, 2012, "Jamani," a 13-year-old female transferred to the N.C. Zoo in 2010 from the San Diego Zoo, gave birth to a male infant named "Bomassa." It marked the first gorilla birth at the State Zoo in 23 years. Four weeks later, 17-year old "Olympia" delivered another male offspring dubbed "Apollo" by his keepers. Olympia had arrived in Asheboro from Zoo Atlanta in 2009.
In all three cases, the father is "Nkosi," a 22-year-old male who arrived at the N.C. Zoo from the Columbus Zoo in March 2008.
Since the deliveries, Jamani, Olympia and their infants have all done extremely well in the process becoming the zoo's most popular attractions.
Source: NC Zoo