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Baby gorilla born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for first time in its history (photos)

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:05 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For the first time in its 139-year history, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating the birth of a baby boy gorilla.

Parents Nneka and Mokolo welcomed their bundle of joy on the morning of Oct. 26, according to a news release from the zoo.

Baby Gorilla with Freddy at the PCA building at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on October 27,...
Baby Gorilla with Freddy at the PCA building at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on October 27, 2021. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)(KYLE LANZER | Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

The western lowland gorilla remains unnamed, the release said, and the public will soon have an opportunity to share their suggestions.

The zoo said Nneka did not immediately catch on to her motherly duties. Luckily, the troop’s eldest female, Fredrika, stepped up to the plate.

This is not the first rodeo for 47-year-old Fredrika, also known as Freddy. She’s raised four infants, according to the release.

When it’s time for food, Freddy brings the newborn to the zoo’s animal care team for a bottle.

Gorilla baby with "Freddy" on exhibit at PCA on October 29, 2021.  (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland...
Gorilla baby with "Freddy" on exhibit at PCA on October 29, 2021. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)(KYLE LANZER | Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

According to the release, zoo staff continues to work with the gorilla family, using positive reinforcement training techniques, to encourage cooperative participation during feedings.

Thanks to a budding partnership with CrossCountry Mortgage, there will be an exclusive video series featuring updates on the growth and development of the gorilla baby, the zoo said.

You can visit the newborn at the Primate, Cat & Aquatics building daily between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Baby male Gorilla with "Freddy" at PCA on November 3, 2021.  (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)
Baby male Gorilla with "Freddy" at PCA on November 3, 2021. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)(KYLE LANZER | Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

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