Asheboro, NC -- Zoo officials say a healthy male gorilla was born at the North Carolina Zoo Saturday at about 8 a.m. The mother is 12-year-old "Jamani."
Zoo officials named the baby boy gorilla was named Bomassa on Monday.
Zookeepers witnessed the labor that they described as relatively quick and uneventful. The infant appears strong and active, and the mother is providing good maternal care.
Jamani came to the N.C. Zoo from the San Diego Zoo in January 2010. Another Gorilla at the zoo, 16-year-old "Olympia" is also pregnant and due early November.
This is only the second gorilla born at the N.C. Zoo. The first was in March of 1989. Kwanza was transferred in 1998 to Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo as part of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
Both Saturday's birth and the expected November birth were recommended by the SSP.
According to the Zoo's news release, the gorilla birth is a major accomplishment, not only for the N.C. Zoo, but also for the AZA's gorilla conservation effort. Currently there are only about 350 gorillas in 52 AZA-accredited zoos with just four successful births out of eight pregnancies recorded during 2011 and early 2012.
WFMY News 2