Riverbanks Prepares to Grow by Two Feet
For Immediate Release: November 29, 2016
Zoo Anticipates the Birth of its First Baby Gorilla
[Columbia, SC] — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is excited to announce the pregnancy of one of the Zoo’s female western lowland gorillas. The expectant mother is due in late May.
The pregnancy is the first for 10-year-old Macy. Now in her second trimester, Macy is believed to be 13 to 14 weeks along. The gestation period for gorillas is about 36 weeks.
"Macy is in good health, and her pregnancy appears to be progressing well,” said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "First-time gorilla mothers are, however, more likely to experience challenges related to birth and child-rearing, so we are cautiously optimistic moving forward.”
Barring any complications, this also will be the first gorilla born and raised at Riverbanks. Dad, Cenzoo, has one other offspring. The 20-year-old silverback fathered a son in 2005 while living at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.
Riverbanks welcomed Cenzoo, Macy and two other female western lowland gorillas in the spring of 2015 as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP). For nearly 36 years, SSP’s have helped ensure the continued existence of endangered animals through breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited institutions.