Baby gorilla dies during birth at Calgary Zoo

CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo is mourning the loss of a western lowland gorilla baby that died during the birthing process earlier this week.

Yewande, the 12-year-old mother-to-be, delivered the male gorilla early Monday morning but the baby did not survive.

Zoo officials say, taking into consideration breeding dates and measurements from ultrasound examinations, it’s believed the baby gorilla was premature.

In January, an early May due date was announced. The baby was to be Yewande’s first.  

“Our animal care and veterinary teams did everything possible to prepare Yewande and the troop for a successful birth, and we are saddened by the outcome,” said Jamie Dorgan, Calgary Zoo’s director of animal care, health & welfare, in a statement released Friday. “We are focused on supporting the troop, especially Yewande, and the animal care staff are focused on caring for the gorilla troop daily, in every way possible as they grieve this loss in the days and weeks to come.”

The zoo will close the outdoor gorilla amphitheatre to guests for the next week to allow the troop time to heal. The Rainforest building that houses the gorillas remains closed in response to the pandemic.

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